Approximately 366,807 cardiac arrests take place outside of a hospital each year. Out of all these incidents, 90 percent of those who experience them die as a result.
One way that you can reduce a person’s risk of dying from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is to administer first aid right away. An automated external defibrillator (or AED for short) is a must-have tool that will help you help someone in need.
Not familiar with an AED or AED benefits? Read on to learn more about these devices, as well as the importance of having one on hand in your place of business.
What Is an AED?
Most people have seen an automatic external defibrillator in person (they’re located in most public buildings, as well as many gyms and offices) or on TV. You might not know how it works or how to use one, though.
An AED is a lightweight, battery-powered machine. It is designed to help those who have gone into cardiac arrest (this occurs when an irregular heartbeat causes the heart to stop beating).
AEDs analyze a person’s heart rhythm and deliver an electrical shock (also known as defibrillation) when necessary. This helps to re-establish the heart rhythm until emergency services can arrive and take the person to a hospital for further testing and treatment.
Why Should You Have an AED Machine on Hand?
There are lots of reasons why you should have an AED at the ready in your place of business. Here are some of the most noteworthy benefits you’ll experience if you invest in one and take the time to learn basic AED facts and AED safety protocols:
1. Provide Immediate Aid
The sooner you can provide first aid to someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest, the greater their chance is of surviving the situation. Cardiac arrest can happen at any time, and it’s not ideal to sit around waiting for emergency medical services to show up.
This is especially true if they’re located more than four minutes away from your property. If a person’s heart stops beating for longer than three or four minutes, they will likely experience brain damage as a result. You can minimize their risk of this and set them up for better outcomes by using an AED to restart their heart while you wait for help to come.
2. Be Prepared
Some people fail to purchase an AED for their building because they assume that they’re never going to find themselves in a situation in which they need to use one. In a perfect world, that would be the case. Emergency situations can arise at any time and affect anyone, though, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have an AED at the ready and know how to use it, you can be prepared in the event that something goes wrong. You’ll be able to stay calm and collected at the moment because you (or someone else on your staff) will know how to use the device.
3. Combat Stress
It’s especially important to invest in an AED if you run a business or work in a place that could be considered a high-stress environment. Mental, emotional, and physical stress can all lead to cardiac arrest (as well as other serious health problems). This is why you’ll often find AEDs in office buildings, as well as in gyms and fitness studios.
4. Reduce Risk of Harm
Using an AED machine helps to reduce the risk of additional harm to a person who has gone into cardiac arrest. These machines are designed to be used by anyone and are virtually mistake-proof.
For example, an AED will only administer a shock if it registers that a person’s heart has stopped beating. There’s almost no way that a person using one can make the situation worse or cause additional damage to the person in need.
Some people might be hesitant to install an AED in their building because they worry about increased liability. They might even have concerns about their business being sued because someone used an AED on their loved one.
There are Good Samaritan laws in place that prevent these kinds of lawsuits from happening, though, and the machine is far more likely to help than it is to cause harm. In almost any situation, the presence of an AED is going to be more beneficial than the absence of one.
5. Get Easy-to-Follow Instructions
Before installing an AED in your building, it’s a good idea for you and your staff to receive training on how to use one. During these training sessions, you can also learn other basic CPR techniques such as applying bandages or handling medical emergencies like seizures in the appropriate way.
The great thing about AEDs, though, is that you don’t necessarily need first aid training to use one. Is it ideal? Definitely.
However, anyone who’s present when someone goes into cardiac arrest could, in theory, help them by using an AED to administer first aid. AEDs provide verbal and written instructions (often in multiple languages) to guide users and ensure they provide assistance in a safe and effective way.
6. Install the Machine Right Away
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to install an AED machine in your building, either. In some cases, you can have the whole thing set up in a matter of minutes. The trickiest part is deciding where you want to put it.
Wall mounting is a popular option when installing an AED. It allows you to display the machine in a prominent area and ensure that people know where it is should they need to use it.
When you’re choosing a place for your AED, make sure that it’s within easy reach, too. Don’t install it so high up on the wall that short people won’t be able to get it. Remember, it needs to be used within about three minutes of the person losing consciousness for maximum effectiveness.
7. Affordable Safety
Some business owners balk at the cost of an AED. Can you really put a price on saving a person’s life, though?
It costs around $1,200-$1,300 on average to install an AED in your building, and annual maintenance costs about $100. Keep in mind that AEDs can also last for up to 8-10 years as long as they’re well-maintained.
When you divide this up, it works out to around $140 per year. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask when it comes to making your building a safe place for customers and employees.
8. Ensure Safety for Large Groups
If you run a business that often has large groups of people present, it’s an especially good idea to have an AED at the ready. The more people gather in a location, the more likely it is that someone there will have a heart condition that makes them more prone to going into cardiac arrest.
Examples of venues that often host large gatherings include churches, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, gyms, airports, and shopping malls. If your business falls into one of these categories, it’ll likely benefit you to invest in an AED. You may even want to have multiple devices available for easy access in an emergency situation.
9. Provide Staff with Important Life Skills
Investing in CPR and first aid certification ensures that everyone has the proper training and feels comfortable providing aid if someone needs it. It also provides your staff with important life skills that they can carry with them into other situations.
10. Enjoy Peace of Mind
Finally, you can’t put a price on peace of mind. No business owner wants to think about someone going into cardiac arrest in their building. It can happen, though, and, in the event that it does, don’t you want to be prepared?
If you take the time to install an AED and learn how to use it now, you can feel confident that you can handle emergencies and provide customers and/or employees with the help they need.
You can also rest easy knowing that people who patronize your business will feel safe there. They’ll see the AED on the wall and will be able to trust that, if they need help, someone in your building will likely be able to assist them.
Invest in an AED Today
You now know more about automated external defibrillators and how you can benefit from having an AED machine at the ready. Armed with this information, do you feel better about investing in one for your facility?
Keeping an AED machine on hand will help you to administer emergency first aid with ease to employees or customers. In a perfect world, you’d never need to use it, but it’s good to have readily available so that you’re prepared and able to provide help right away.
If you want to learn how to use an AED or to perform other first aid techniques, sign up for an online CPR class today.