May 31, 2021
June 1-7 marks CPR/AED Awareness Week. At Defibtech, we are dedicated to increasing survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Our vision is to lead explosive growth in Automated External Defibrillator (AED) usage and transform pre-hospital treatment of sudden cardiac arrest.
Why are we so passionate about saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest? According to Parent Heart Watch, sudden cardiac arrest affects 365,000 people per year across the United States. Less than 10% of these people survive. According to the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires COMBINED.
The only way to save someone who is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest is with immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the quick shock of an AED. That is why it is so important to raise the awareness of CPR and how to use an AED.
CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. According to the American Heart Association CPR “is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.” CPR is important because it keeps blood flow active.
There are two types of CPR. First, is CPR performed by healthcare providers and those with certifications. It includes providing compressions and giving breaths. When giving breaths, the compression to breath ratio is 30 compressions to 2 breaths. The rate of compressions is 100 to 120 compressions per minute. On an adult victim it is recommended to press down 2-2.4 inches. In other words, press hard and fast!
For the general public or those who are not certified in CPR, it is recommended to perform “hands only” or “compression only” CPR. This means not giving rescue breaths and performing chest compressions until an AED arrives or until EMS arrives to take over.
To provide a good chest compression, kneel down on the side of the victim with one knee at their shoulder and one knee at their waist. Place the palm of one hand in the center of the chest on the breast bone. Place your other hand on top of your first hand. Keep your elbows locked in. It is important to be up and over the person so you can use your body weight while providing compressions to keep them as effective as possible.
AED stands are Automated External Defibrillator. It is an electronic medical device that can check a person’s heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed to help save their life. AEDs are meant for the general public to use. Anyone can use an AED. Just turn it on and the AED will give you step-by-step instructions on what to do. The AED will analyze the heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed. It will only deliver a shock if necessary.
It is important that AEDs are everywhere! The quicker an AED is used, the higher the chances are for survival. When someone is shocked within one minute of suffering sudden cardiac arrest, they have a 90% chance of survival. Each minute after decreases their chances of survival 10%.
There are different things you can do to help raise the awareness of CPR and AEDs during CPR/AED Awareness Week: