Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)...
Madison Helps Local Police Departments Fight Sudden Cardiac Arrest
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It happens quickly. Without warning. It can affect anyone - healthy adults, even teenagers. It cannot be prevented. There is no vaccine. Most do not survive.
It's called Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and there's only one way to treat it. Defibrillation.
Unfortunately, 90 - 95 percent of SCA victims die because they didn't have quick access to this easy-to-administer lifesaving treatment. By making more people aware of sudden cardiac arrest and by improving access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), we can increase the survival rate for these people.
Survival rates of over 50% have been achieved where easily organized AED programs have been established. These rates are twice those reported for the most effective EMS systems, and ten times better than the national EMS system average of 5%!
Every responsible household has an easily accessible fire extinguisher. In many ways, it is appropriate to think of an AED as a medical fire extinguisher!
Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, is a frequently misunderstood worldwide killer. It can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime. SCA occurs more than 600 times every day in the U.S. alone, killing at least 250,000 people each year. That's more people than the entire population of cities like Derby, England or Raleigh, North Carolina. SCA kills more people than house fires, AIDS, firearms, prostate and breast cancer, and automobile accidents, combined. It is one of the leading causes of death among American adults.
Yet few people are familiar with sudden cardiac arrest.
* How many times have you seen or heard about Emergency Medical Technicians flying across the lobby of your building into a waiting elevator. Our Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue E.M.T.s tell us that a substantial number of calls that they respond to on the Barrier Island are for Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Unfortunately, they often arrive too late! Fire-Rescue Techs have been visiting Condos to alert our residents about the lifesaving benefits of on-site Automatic External Defibrillators. Some of us are starting to listen!
It's not always easy to tell if someone is
suffering from SCA, but the victim will typically:
Why is it important to know the difference between SCA and a heart attack? Because the treatment for each is very different:
How is sudden cardiac arrest treated?
The only way to effectively treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is with an electrical shock delivered by a defibrillator. Voltage stored by the defibrillator pushes electrical current through the heart by means of the electrodes or paddles placed on the chest. This brief pulse of current halts the chaotic activity of the heart, giving it a chance to start beating again with a normal rhythm. Delivering a shock that returns the heart to a normal rhythm is called defibrillation.
Early defibrillation is the key to surviving SCA.
Survival rates for SCA are highest when defibrillation occurs within the first few minutes. The person has the best chance of survival if the defibrillation shock is given within the first three minutes of collapsing.
But if a defibrillator is not immediately available, the outlook is grim. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, survival rates drop by about 7-10 percent-even if CPR is started immediately.
For Your Information!
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
An AED is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a defibrillation shock if it determines one is needed. Once turned on, the AED guides the user through each step of the defibrillation process by providing voice and/or visual prompts.
AEDs are specially designed for easy use by a “first responder”, who would be the first person to typically arrive on the scene of a medical emergency. A first responder can be an emergency medical services worker, a firefighter or police officer, or it can be a layperson with minimal AED training.
Time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival, can be reduced if an AED is “on-site” and can be brought to the victim quickly. This is one of the reasons that survival rates improve in communities with active AED programs. Remember, every minute that passes before defibrillation reduces survival rates by 7-10 percent.
The goal is to improve SCA survival rates…..on-site AEDs can make the difference.
In the above graphic series,
the particular AED requires either 2 or 3 steps to save a
life. Three steps if it is the semi-automatic unit and only
the first two steps if it is the fully automatic version. Once
you determine the person isn't breathing or conscious, you
If a shock is needed, the AED will prompt the user to press the button that delivers the shock. It will then re-analyze the heart rhythm to determine if more shocks are needed. If the unit is fully automatic, it will automatically administer shocks as needed. If a shockable rhythm is not detected, the AED will prompt the user to check the victim for a pulse, and to perform CPR if needed.