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Saving Lives with AED Training or CPR Training


In 1973 the Red Cross and the American Heart Association began a large campaign to teach the American population CPR. It is common knowledge that CPR is difficult to administer correctly. While CPR is helpful and sometimes life saving, more times than not CPR is not sufficient by itself to restore a normal heart beat. Only a shock to the heart provided by an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can act as a jump start for the heart once it has stopped.

AEDs are simple and easy to use, and they can save a life if used in a timely manner. As the availability of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) continues to increase in society, it has been estimated that 100,000 lives a year can be saved with proper deployment of AEDs. Today, AEDs units can be found in government buildings, airports, airlines, fitness centers, schools, churches, commercial businesses and now homes.

It is estimated that 80% of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the Philips HeartStart AED for over-the-counter sales, no longer requiring a prescription. This device was approved because it is one of the friendliest and easiest AEDs on the market.

Richard Wright, president of AED Headquarters believes not enough time is being spent in prioritizing the ease and simplicity of AEDs. When he reads of deaths occurring where AEDs were present and never used, he questions not only the training priorities but the message being sent to society.

“The cost of AEDs has dropped significantly,” Wright said. “And with the increase of AEDs in our society and now in the homes, we need to start a campaign that says AEDs are easy to use; they talk to you and walk you through the entire process. . . in the absence of trained personnel, remember YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE.”

AEDs are so easy to use that the majority of states, if not all, include the good faith use of an AED by any person under the Good Samaritan Laws. “Good faith” protection under the Good Samaritan law means that a first aid responder cannot be held civilly liable for the harm or death of a victim by providing improper or inadequate care, given that the harm or death was not intentional. In most states, Good Samaritan laws provide protection for the use of AEDs by trained and untrained responders.

AED training helps to avoid panic and makes people more secure and confident when responding to an emergency. Wright however believes a subliminal message is being sent to those who don’t respond to an emergency. They think (a) since I’m not CPR/AED trained, there is nothing I can do, (b) liability concerns (they’re not aware of the Good Samaritan Law), (c) perceived difficulty using an AED (they never knew it was so easy), (d) what is an AED?

“Training is good,” Wright said. “But not being trained should never stop someone from helping out when an AED is present.” Training is not complete if an organization with AEDs has personnel who fall into one of the aforementioned categories.

Wright was elated to hear that the American Heart Association unveiled last week a “CPR Anytime for Family and Friends” kit. The CPR Anytime kit is a cost-effective way for the entire family to learn CPR at home. He was so impressed with what the AHA has done that is now including the CPR Anytime kit “FREE” with every home AED purchased.


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