The automated external defibrillator (AED) has been described as the single most important development in the treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). These devices are now widely available and increasingly used by people, often with little or no training, to re-start the heart of a victim of SCA. Their increasing presence in workplaces is brilliant news for victims. To ensure the AED remains ready for an emergency, proper maintenance is required. The good news though, is the amount of maintenance they require is minimal.
As a resuscitation training company we know exactly how much it improves the survival rates of cardiac arrest victims by starting CPR straight away and by having rapid access to a defibrillator, however we never really gave thought to the rural village where we work! That was until one day our MD had a knock on the door to say that a 55 year old chap had collapsed just outside the village pub. Our MD started CPR whilst other helpers called for an ambulance.
When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, time is of the essence. If we can get to them quickly, start CPR quickly and get a defibrillator on them quickly, we dramatically improve their chance of survival, but without these vital interventions, the victim will almost certainly die.
There is nowhere more challenging for this to happen than in the community, whether at home, at the shops or at work. Ambulance services will always strive to arrive on scene as fast as they can, but often it is too late.