Advanced First Aid is a leader in the certification and training of CPR, First Aid, and AED devices. Recent changes within the field of first aid and CPR have led to better practices and higher survival rates. Changes and reasoning:
CPR is no longer about supplying rescue breathing to patients who have stopped breathing or have had a heart attack. The focus now is on quality chest compressions. Rescue breathing only occurs when the victim can be fitted with an advanced airway device that enables the integration of oxygen.
What is an AED and how safe are they to use?
An AED is an automated external defibrillating device, and it is used to provide a life-saving shock of electricity to restart the heart. As for the safe use of an AED there is little risk to either the responder or to the victim. The key is proper training, however, even without training a first responder can successfully use an AED without added risk. CPR certification and HEARTSafe training are both suggested for everyone.
Who is the Appropriate user for an AED
The modern AED is designed so that anyone can use it. It does not matter if you are a lay rescuer, first responder, or a paramedic. These devices are designed to be simple, but effective to use.
Is there a legal liability for using an AED?
No, there is no legal risk of using an AED so long as the device is used as it was designed to be used. People are protected by the Good Samaritan Laws. Plus, it has been shown by experts that using an AED increases the survival rate of those victims who suffer a sudden onset of cardiac arrest. The victim is faced with three outcomes; Be rescued, Hope for survival or Die. Without the intervention, the hope for survival diminished greatly as does the survival rate. Only with rescue intervention, is there a chance for survival. Plus modern AEDs are designed to be used by anyone, even a child could follow the pictorial instructions on most AED units. Additionally, AED have become the public standard for emergency care when someone has a heart attack. The legal risk that businesses face is not having an AED on site.
Are businesses at risk for having an AED onsite?
The legal responsibility for having an AED onsite only extends to the responsibility to make sure that the AED unit is available and functional. This means that maintenance records need to be kept and that they need to show that the AED batteries and all electrodes are replaced or refreshed on a regular basis. In the State of Minnesota, there is a stipulation that every AED become part of the business's Maintenance or Emergency Plan. That means having a designated AED manager listed with contact information so that employees can report damage, etc. There needs to be a detailed maintenance log as well.
Training for AED:
Changes to Minnesota educational requirements make CPR training and AED training a requirement of all High School Students beginning in the 2014/2015 school year. This will be a mandatory requirement of graduation.
First Responders is a term that means anyone who is first on the scene of an emergency and currently there are no regulations to force adults to undergo CPR training or AED training. There is, however, ample evidence to suggest that the survival rate of heart attack victims goes up when rescuers have training. HEARTSafe communities are those where there is a push for CPR certification, AED training, and the general public awareness of what to do in an emergency is part of the public and civic agenda.
Changes to CPR
Hands-only CPR is the new standard. Before CPR was taught with both chest compressions and rescue breathing. With the elimination of rescue breathing, the focus of CPR is now hand-only CPR. Studies show that by focusing on quality chest compressions there is some air within the lungs. It is more important that blood be transported to vital organs. Stopping chest compressions to perform rescue breathing decreases that amount of blood that reaches vital organs. That translates into a decrease in the survival rate of victims.
Learning to Teach CPR and AED
While there is a lot of information available to the public, most of which is free of charge, the essential pieces of training are not free. Those include the CPR training mannequin and AED practice device. There are instructor training classes available and sometimes you can find training equipment in the local community that an instruction an borrow. A good place to look for such equipment would be your local fire department.
Advanced First Aid offers ongoing CPR training and CPR certification to the public.
If you are interested in becoming a more active participant in our HEARTSafe community, just call us.
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