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An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that analyzes the victim's condition and, if warranted, delivers an electric shock to the heart to reverse sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
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When someone collapses from SCA, immediate CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) are essential for any chance of recovery. These devices are failsafe and will not cause injury to the user, nor will they deliver a shock if none is needed. For patients with ventricular fibrillation (VF) studies show that if early defibrillation is provided within the first minute, the odds are 90% that the victim’s life can be saved. After that, the rate of survival drops 10% with every minute. As many as 30% to 50% of SCA victims would likely survive if CPR and AEDs were used within five minutes of collapse.
The American Heart Association supports implementing the chain of survival to rescue people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community. The adult chain of survival consists of:
Reasons to purchase an AED include:
HeartSafe Moore County has established policies, procedures, and plans for the effective use of AEDs and will assist with training, maintenance, and long-term monitoring of the device.
A host of undetected cardiac problems exist within any sizeable school population, and some school activities (especially athletics) may exacerbate these difficulties:
Even schools for young children have many adults present every day. Teachers, custodians, office staff, and volunteers are among those whose lives will be protected through the placement of an AED.
Schools provide a natural placement option for public access defibrillation (PAD) programs. While hospitals and other public buildings tend to be located in population centers, the more uniform distribution of schools puts life-saving technology nearer to those residents most at risk for long delays from EMS.
Schools serve as central gathering points within the community. Whether it is parents attending a school concert or play or everyone in town attending a basketball or football game, it is hard to imagine an institution that more regularly attracts large numbers of people for extended periods of time.
There is educational value in placing AEDs in schools. Primary-level teachers can make their pupils aware of what they are and how they are used. Secondary teachers can integrate CPR and AED instruction into the curriculum. The more familiar children are with AEDs, the greater the likelihood that they will use them in the event of a cardiac emergency.