WHAT IS AN AED?
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. Last week we spoke about the 383,000 out of the hospital cardiac arrests that occur yearly in the US. Although the majority occur in a home, where 911 can be called and CPR started immediately, those occurring in the field, where response times of EMS may be slower, can be helped with an AED.
Because cardiac arrests are usually caused by a chaotic, erratic, or super-fast heart rhythm, the fastest way to try to restore a regular rhythm that will help the heart pump is by using an AED. The AED essentially re-groups the electrical rhythms of the heart and can take chaos to calm. Every minute that goes by after arrest means 10% less chance of living… so an AED used within the first minute of arrest has a 90% chance of restoring the heart to a functional rhythm. By minute 9, that chance falls to 10%.
AEDs are present in airports, health clubs, public venues like theme parks, and are scattered about in the field. It might be intimidating to think about “shocking” a person in arrest, but the design of the AEDS allows anyone who can follow directions to potentially save a life.
To help you not only with remembering how to do CPR, but also, locating an AED near you, there is a wonderful new app out there that you can download for free. It’s called the:
PULSE POINT APP
An amazing app has been developed by ex-firefighter Richard Price, to help improve response times for cardiac arrests in the field. He was next door to a shop where a person had a cardiac arrest, EMS was called but delayed, and he was frustrated that, if he had known of the event, he could have responded immediately and possibly changed the outcome.
He and the PulsePoint Foundation developed an app that is tied into your local fire department 911 system. If you are CPR certified, a medical professional or first responder, and have the app operational, you are informed if someone needs CPR within 1000 feet of your location.
The app also tells you if there is an AED en route so that, not only can you initiate CPR before EMS arrives, but you can also use the AED in a timely fashion until help arrives.
If you are NOT CPR trained, a screen on the app shows you how to perform hands-only CPR with an AUDIO feature that counts the beats at 100/minute.
The app also shows you how easy it is to use an AED.
Lastly, whenever you see an AED in the community, you can snap it’s photo, download it into Pulse Point app, and its location will be added to the database. Imagine what you can accomplish by just taking a walk and identifying more lifesaving tools!
So by taking one minute to learn hands-only CPR, and another to download the PulsePoint app, you can potentially save a life, as Pulse Point states, “ by becoming a Citizen Superhero.”
Read Part one of Dr. JJ's Bystander CPR Guide
Board certified pediatrician Dr. JJ Levenstein, MD, FAAP Take parenting classes instructed by Dr. Levenstein online by visiting www.momassembly.com. To learn more about parents' concerns with kids go to her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CallingDoctorJJ .
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