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Automated External Defibrillators Can Save Lives During Cardiac Emergencies

Posted on September 19, 2016 at 11:10 PM

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

improve survival after an out-of-hospital cardiac

arrest. Their presence reduces the critical time for

treatment. Less time to defibrillation improves

victims’ chances of survival. Having the devices

appropriately located in a business or workplace

improves the survivability of people experiencing a

cardiac crisis.


Why should employers make Automated

External Defibrillators available to

employees?

■ There are 300,000-400,000 deaths per year

in the United States from cardiac arrest.

■ Most cardiac arrest deaths occur outside the

hospital. Current out-of-hospital survival rates

are 1 to 5 percent.

■ In 1999 and 2000, 815 of 6,339 workplace

fatalities reported to OSHA were caused by

cardiac arrest.

■ Jobs with shift work, high stress, and exposure

to certain chemicals and electrical hazards

increase the risks of heart disease and cardiac

arrest.


What causes cardiac arrest, and how

does an AED improve survivability?

■ Abnormal heart rhythms, with ventricular

fibrillation (VF) being the most common,

cause cardiac arrest.

U.S. Department of Labor

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA 3174 (2001)

■ Treatment of VF with immediate electronic

defibrillation can increase survival to more

than 90 percent.

■ With each minute of delay in defibrillation,

10 percent fewer victims survive.

Is AED equipment expensive?

■ The average initial cost for an AED ranges

from $3,000 to $4,500.

Are AEDs difficult to use?

■ AEDs are easy to use. In mock cardiac arrest,

untrained sixth-grade children were able to

use AEDs without difficulty.

■ Automated external defribrillators are effective,

easy to use, and relatively inexpensive.

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