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AEDs and PAD Programs

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AEDs Everywhere!

Nine in 10 cardiac arrest victims who receive a shock from an automated external defibrillator,1 or AED, in the first minute live—an astounding outcome given the SCA survival rate has been under 10% for 30 years.2

And yet, three in five Americans lack the confidence to use one. Studies show the public is vastly more confident responding to a natural disaster, fire or choking victim than they are using a life-saving device to prevent one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.3

According to the National EMS Information System, it takes an average of 6 minutes (urban/suburban) and 13 minutes (rural areas) for first responders to arrive.4 But every minute delayed in treating an SCA victim decreases survival by 10%.5

That’s why Parent Heart Watch advocates for having AEDs in everywhere where youth congregate. AEDs are a critical step in the Cardiac Chain of Survival, which is based on the premise that the first person on the scene of a cardiac arrest is in the best position to save a life IF the rescuer is prepared to take action. That’s why simply distributing AEDs is not enough there must be a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan in place to use one.

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The most important aspect of public access defibrillation programs is that AEDs are accessible—not locked away—and that the facility or field alert its users where it is and how to access it in a cardiac emergency.

(See our Position Statement)

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What is an Automated External Defibrillator(AED?)

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  • A heart in cardiac arrest can only be started with an AED. While CPR is a bridge to life that keeps oxygen circulating to vital organs, it’s the electric shock that restarts the heart.
  • An AED is designed to quickly analyze the heart’s rhythm and safely deliver an electric shock, if needed.
  • An AED will not shock someone if the heart rhythm is not life-threatening, so the user cannot inadvertently hurt the victim.
  • AEDs guide its user through the rescue process with simple audible and visual prompts. Users DO NOT need to be trained or certified to use the device. Research shows that even youth as young as age 11 can properly use one after receiving verbal instructions.
1 https://newsroom.uw.edu/postscript/aed-benefit-clear-athletes-sudden-cardiac-arrest
2 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Strategies to Improve SCA Survival: A Time to Act, 2015
3 2019 Harris Poll for Cintas Corp.
4 Mell et al, 2017, Emergency Medical Service Response Times in Rural, Suburban and Urban Areas. JAMA Surgery, 152(10)
5 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180226085812.htm