What is an AED?

AEDs or Automated External Defibrillators are used during CPR to help those who are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, AEDs are used to analyze the rhythm of their heart and deliver an electric shock (defibrillation) that can help the heart re-establish its rhythm. Some AEDs also help people to provide more effective CPR with a timer and real-time CPR feedback.

Why Do You Need an AED?

One of the leading causes of death in the United States is sudden cardiac arrest. The only way to restore rhythm to the heart of someone suffering from cardiac arrest is through the use of an AED. When someone enters into cardiac arrest, you should always call 911 and request the help of a professional. However, the average response time for first responders is 8 to 12 minutes and for every minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by 10%. Having an AED in your building and having trained personnel who know how to use them is very important.

Are AEDs Required by Law?

Laws around the requirements of AEDs in businesses, schools and public spaces varies from state to state. There is no common law requirement for private businesses to provide AEDs, but you should learn what the requirements are in your state. Areas that are higher risk for sudden cardiac arrest, such as fitness centers, may have more stringent laws regarding AEDs.

Installation of AEDs

AEDs should be able to be retrieved, activated, and administer a shock within three minutes of a victim’s collapse. If you are interested in installing an AED in your facility, you should keep these things in mind:

  • Have at least one AED per floor in offices, schools and other multilevel buildings
  • Place AEDs in an easily accessible location
  • Place signs on the wall that can be easily read
  • An AED in a public space should be no more than 48 inches high
  • Place an AED near a phone where 911 can be called

Near your AED, you should keep items that make it easier to perform CPR such as a CPR mask, gloves, a safety razor, blunt scissors or shears, absorbent towels and a biohazard bag.

If you are interested in installing AEDs in your facility but don’t know where to start, you should hire a professional who knows the best placement for AEDs and can install them in accordance with manufacturer, OSHA and other guidelines.

AED Training

An AED is not useful if your personnel are not trained to use it. Get your employees trained by a certified instructor to learn how to perform CPR and as well as how to use an AED. Having designated personnel who can perform resuscitation in your business can help save lives.

 AED Inspections

According to OSHA guidelines, AEDs must be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with manufacturer specifications. You can hire a professional to perform visual inspections of your AEDs to make sure they are working properly. Inspections often include:

  • Checking the battery
  • Checking the status of the indicator light
  • Inspecting for any cracks or damage
  • Checking the AED pads to make sure they are sealed and not past expiration

Installing and inspecting AEDs in your facility is an important part of your building’s overall life safety scheme. Installing AEDs such as the Zoll AED 3,  that provide real-time feedback to guide rescuers during CPR, can help save lives.