When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), every second counts. It is a life-threatening condition that can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. That’s why it is essential to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in public places. Having easy access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death. While AEDs are vital medical tools, they’re also relatively unrecognized and underrated – even though they have the potential to save countless lives each year.
A defibrillator is an automated device which delivers an electrical shock through the chest wall to the heart muscle, allowing it to regain normal rhythm if abnormal rhythm known as arrhythmias occur from lack of oxygen supply. These invaluable devices are becoming increasingly available in public places such as shopping centres and airports all around the world. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of defibrillators in public places, how they work, and why AEDdonate is helping communities in the UK to be prepared in the event of an SCA.
What are AEDs, and how do they work?
An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock to the heart in case of cardiac arrest. Defibrillation is essential in cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) because it can help the heart to start beating again and save the person’s life.
Here’s a breakdown of how the process works:
- The pads are placed on the upper right and lower left sides of the chest.
- The device will analyse the person’s heart rhythm and determine whether a shock is needed. The device will only deliver a shock if it detects a shockable rhythm, such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
- If the device determines that a shock is necessary, it will charge up and prepare to deliver the shock.
- Once the device is fully charged, it will deliver a shock to the person’s heart. The shock is designed to stop the heart’s abnormal rhythm and allow the heart to restart with a normal rhythm.
- After the shock has been delivered, the defibrillator will continue to monitor the person’s heart rhythm and provide further instructions if necessary.
It’s important to note that defibrillators should only be used on people who are in cardiac arrest and have stopped breathing. If the person is still breathing, but their heart is beating irregularly, a defibrillator is not necessary. In these cases, medical attention should still be sought, but the person can be stabilized with other treatments.
Why are AEDs important in public places?
SCA can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. That’s why it is essential to have AEDs in public places. Public places, such as airports, train stations, sports centres, and shopping malls, are areas where large numbers of people gather. Having an AED in these places can mean the difference between life and death. The faster the defibrillation occurs, the better the chances of survival.
In the UK, more than 30,000 people have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year. Without immediate intervention, cardiac arrest can lead to death within minutes. When a defibrillator is used within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, it can restore a normal heart rhythm by delivering an electrical shock to the heart. This can be the difference between life and death, as the chances of survival from a cardiac arrest decrease by 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. That’s why it is crucial to have AEDs in public places.
Another reason why defibrillators are important in public places is that they can provide a sense of security to people. Knowing that a defibrillator is available in a public space can give people confidence that they can receive immediate help in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Why should there be more defibrillators in public places?
There is no doubt that AEDs save lives. However, many public places in the UK do not have AEDs. The government has been taking steps to increase the number of AEDs in public places, but there is still a long way to go. There are many reasons there should be more defibrillators in public places:
- Time is critical in cardiac arrest: The chances of survival from a cardiac arrest decrease by 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. The average response time for emergency services is around 8-12 minutes, but a defibrillator on-site can be used immediately, increasing the chance of survival.
- Cardiac arrests can happen anywhere: Sudden cardiac arrests can occur in any public place, such as a shopping centre, park, or public transport station. Having a defibrillator on-site can help to save lives in an emergency.
- Defibrillators are easy to use: AEDs are designed to be easy to use, even by people without medical training. The device provides step-by-step instructions, and some models even have voice prompts to guide users through the process.
- Defibrillators are cost-effective: The cost of an AED is relatively low compared to the cost of treating a cardiac arrest victim or the cost of potential legal action against an organization that fails to provide proper emergency care.
- Defibrillators are safe: AEDs are designed to be safe and effective. They only deliver a shock if it’s needed and won’t shock someone who doesn’t need it. Additionally, the device will only analyse the heart’s rhythm and will not deliver a shock if the person’s heart rhythm is normal.
AEDs are essential in public places. They are easy to use, and anyone can use them to save a life. AEDdonate is helping communities in the UK to be prepared in the event of an SCA by providing AEDs to public places and offering training and education. By supporting AEDdonate, you can help to save lives and ensure that your community has access to lifesaving equipment.
Our goal at AEDdonate is to help your community be prepared in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Whatever you need, whether it’s a village, workplace, sports facility, school, or simply your local telephone box, AEDdonate can provide you with a one-stop service to make sure there are no weak links in the chain of survival.
AEDdonate is committed to improving survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, supporting the placement and use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in local communities.
We achieve this by allowing communities to fundraise or purchase an AED which can then be registered with your local Ambulance Trust for use in an Emergency.
This will help protect communities from the UK’s biggest killer, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). By working together we CAN save lives.