Anybody who can follow simple instructions can use an AED. A person does NOT have to be qualified or trained in order to conduct defibrillation in case of sudden cardiac arrest. Of course, it is best if the person has at least minimal training in CPR or AED.
The best results are achieved with the combination of CPR and AED. CPR helps with the heart failure issues that cause the electric activities of the heart to stop entirely. In simple words, when the heart stops pumping.
It is important to start CPR immediately, so that the pressure on the heart helps pump put the blood and mimic the normal heart function.
AED usually helps with the situations in which the heart has abnormal function. This means irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. When this occurs, especially when there are irregularities with the function of the lower chambers of the heart, such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
In this case, the heart starts beating in irregular rhythm, too fast or too slow and it leads to the loss of blood pressure and unconsciousness. It can be fatal.
That is why each workplace needs to have at least one AED, so that the first aid in the case of a cardiac arrest can be administered in the first 3 minutes. After that, the chances for survival are reduced drastically. Get your AED from Alsco New Zealand and avoid big upfront investments.
What Are the AED Laws?
So far, New Zealand laws do not require mandatory AED in the workplace. However, the law should not be your main reason for acquiring AEDs for your staff. The chances of survival when there is a defibrillator used increase up to 80% than when only CPR is involved.
That should be a reason enough to have one or more defibrillators in your workplace ready and clearly marked, so that anybody can see them.
From the moment a cardiac arrest occurs, to the moment when it is too late to offer assistance before brain damage occurs, there is only a 3-minute window. During that time window, somebody needs to react, start the CPR immediately and use the AED right away.
This is less likely to happen if people in a workplace don’t know where the AED is located or it is too far away, or if they are reluctant to use it because they think they don’t know how to use it.
The truth is, modern defibrillators, especially the ones that Alsco offers, can be used by anyone. They do all of the work themselves, including the analysis if the electric shock should or should not be administered and when.
The proper workplace signs that show where the AED is should be put everywhere because, in the state of shock and fear when something like a cardiac arrest happens, people get flustered and they don’t think clearly. That is why the signs need to be put on prominent places to remind them in the moment of crisis what needs to be done.
How Do You Use a Defibrillator?
The defibrillator is used when you see that a person is unconscious, has irregular heartbeat and isn’t breathing normally. In that case, you should call for help or, ideally, ask somebody else to call the ambulance. Quickly grab the AED or send somebody to grab it while you perform the CPR.
Once you have the AED by your side, go through the following steps:
- Connect the AED pads to the device if necessary.
- Remove or open the patient’s shirt, exposing the chest.
- Determine if the patient has a pacemaker or a medicine patch.
- Remove the medicine patches if any.
- Wipe the patient’s chest clean if they are wet.
- Place the AED pats on the patient’s chest avoiding direct contact with a pacemaker.
- Let everybody know that they need to “STAY CLEAR”
- Push the analyse button.
- Listen to the instructions from the AED.
- Resume CPR until the next electrical shock and repeat the steps 8 and 9 until the ambulance arrives.
Can AED Be Used on Anyone?
You can use an AED on almost anyone. You should not use it when the person is wet for any reason before wiping them dry. There are also different types of patients that can get people doubting if they should use AED on them, fearing that they can do more harm than good.
Can I Use an AED on Someone with a Pacemaker?
Yes. You should use an AED on somebody with pacemaker. Make sure that you don’t position the pads directly over the pacemaker, though. It is usually located right below the left collarbone. The older models can be felt like a hard disc-shaped surface, while the smaller ones are less likely to be detected.
Can I Use an AED on a Pregnant Woman?
Yes. Don’t be afraid that you will hurt the unborn baby. Neither AED nor CPR will hurt the baby. There will be more damage to the unborn child if their mother doesn’t survive due to the lack of first aid.
Can You Use an AED on a Child?
If available, use a pediatric AED. There are special pediatric pads for children and special settings on the AEDs that administer milder electrical shock. If this is not available, use the adult AED on children above 12 months of age only and that is only if you are their only option available. Children under 12 months of age should be treated with CPR and without the AED.
The cardiac arrest related deaths in New Zealand are not unusual. They are frequent enough for the government to start introducing the public defibrillators. Therefore, it is advisable that company owners do their part in this effort and introduce the AEDs as a part of their First Aid.
The easiest way to do this is to contact Alsco New Zealand right now. Call us and tell us that you want AEDs in your company. That’s all you need to do. Alsco does the rest.
We will asses how many you really need, where is the best place to put them and what needs to be done with them. We will control them, replace batteries and check up on them. We will install them. Your obligation is only to let people know they exist and to pay affordable annual rental fee.
Photo courtesy of Medisave