What is an AED?
AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator.  This is a device that sends electrical pulses through the heart, shocking it out of a fatal rhythm in order to allow a normal, healthy rhythm to resume after Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
 
Who does Sudden Cardiac Arrest affect?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in North America, killing over 400,000 people each year just in the U.S. alone.  It can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time, including students, staff and faculty without warning.  The good news is that Sudden Cardiac Arrest is survivable.  Studies show that when AEDs are used within the first 3 minutes of SCA, there is an increased survival rate of 74%.
 
Why can’t I just call 911?
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) may not respond as quickly as needed to save someone going through Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  The average response time for EMS is 6-12 minutes.  With SCA, a victim’s survival rate decreases by 10% with each passing minute.  Fewer than 10% of victims survive because of the lack of AEDs in their communities.  If it takes an EMS 6 minutes to arrive on the scene, the survival rate for that victim has just decreased by 60% by not having an available AED on the premises.
 
AED’s seem complicated to use, can anyone use them?
Yes!  The AEDs available on the market today are narrated with step by step instructions in the event of an emergency.  Most have audio and visual prompts to guide one through the entire process.  Some units even have text prompts for loud environments, or for those who are hearing impaired.  You can even find added features for CPR compressions that tell you if you are compressing too lightly or with too much pressure, making it easy for everyone to use.
 
Having an AED onsite, hanging in an easily accessible area, is crucial for the optimum chance of survival.  School Nurse Supply offers a full line of AED equipment and accessories to match your school’s needs.  Please call our customer service specialists with any questions on these products.  Let’s save lives together!
 

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Tara

Date 6/24/2013

What a great article!

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