Why are AEDs important?

An automated external defibrillator, also known as AED, is a portable device that can restore an irregular heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, it happens to a person in Canada every 12 minutes. Any location with traffic of 1000 adults over the age 35 will experience an incident every 5 years. Using an AED immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can increase the chance of survival by more than 90%. A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of age and gender. It usually happens to undiagnosed people without any warning who appear healthy and have no known heart disease or other risk factors for SCA. A person with sleep apnea is most likely to experience cardiovascular problems in the future. It prevents restful sleep and is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and stroke. Apnea episodes limit the flow of oxygen into our body and causes extreme stress to the heart due to lower oxygen levels. People who have heart disease are at a higher risk for SCA. Due to the strong relationship between sleep apnea and cardiovascular diseases, it is highly recommended to have an AED on hand in the event that a cardiac arrest does happen. There are many benefits of having an AED inside your home, at your business, or at the workplace. It is the best method to save a life if there is no heartbeat as the AED’s effectiveness is regardless of age and experience. Canada does not mandate the use of AEDs, but it is recommended to have them at clinics, and public places with more than 1000 adults. At the workplace, AED Training is usually provided by the company. Occupational Health and Safety fully supports the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at the work site. The employer should ensure that AEDs are integrated into the company’s emergency response plan and first aid programs. It shows that the company cares about the people and staff, and employees can work safely knowing there is a useful medical device available if needed. AEDs should also be available at one’s home as well as it may be the only medical device that may be able to save your life before the ambulance arrives. It is an important question that the 911 operator will usually ask whether there is a defibrillator available to assist in monitoring the patient’s condition. There are about 40,000 cardiac arrests in Canada every year which makes it a common cause of death in Canada. For every one minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by 7 to 10%. After more than 12 minutes of ventricular fibrillation, the survival rate of adults is less than 5%. (Heart and Stroke) Today, AEDs are portable and user-friendly, allowing anyone who has minimal CPR or AED training to respond to an emergency. The defibrillator teaches us using clear voice instructions by guiding us on how to attach the pads to the person or perform CPR. Some devices may even have video display to help provide a more visual instruction on how to save a life. Having an AED onsite can greatly improve a person’s chance of survival from cardiac arrest or by just CPR on its own. It is no longer an uncommon or exceptional item to possess, so the next time you go to a big event, or even to work, find out whether they have an AED on site to ensure that you can enjoy yourself or work knowing that you are in a safe, prepared environment. To learn more about AED, call the experts from SleepEh today or Contact us to schedule an appointment.