Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Part of the Daniel E. Rumph II Foundation’s mission is to provide Automated External Defibrillators to Philadelphia Recreation Centers, and Recreation Centers in the surrounding counties.
DER II Foundation is committed to increase the survival rate of Sudden Cardiac Arrest patients in the City of Philadelphia and the Tri-State area. Over 350,000 Americans die from SCA each year.
AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR (AED)
An AED is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a defibrillation shock if it determines one is needed. Once turned on, the AED guides the user through each step of the defibrillation process by providing voice and/or visual prompts.
An AED is specially designed for easy use by a "first responder", who would be the first person to typically arrive on the scene of a medical emergency. A first responder can be an emergency medical services worker, a firefighter or police officer, or it can be a layperson with minimal AED training.
Time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival, can be reduced if an AED is "on-site" and can be brought to the victim quickly. This is one of the reasons that survival rates improve in communities with active AED programs. Remember, every minute that passes before defibrillation reduces survival rates by 7-10 percent.
The goal is to improve SCA survival rates…..on-site AEDs can make the difference.
How Does the AED Work?
Once an AED is turned on, it provides “prompts” to guide the user through the process. One of the first prompts instructs the user to connect the AED to the victim via the adhesive electrodes (pads) placed on the chest.
The AED then analyzes the victim's heart rhythm through the electrodes using a built-in computer program. It then determines if a shock is "needed" or "necessary." More specifically:
- The electrodes placed on the victim's body send the heart rhythm information (ECGs) to the AED.
- The AED "reads" short segments of the heart's rhythm. It checks characteristics such as frequency, shape, slope, amplitude and heart rate.
- Based on these characteristics, the AED determines whether or not a shock is needed and activates the appropriate user prompts.
If a shock is needed, the AED will prompt the user to press the button that delivers the shock. It will then re-analyze the heart rhythm to determine if more shocks are needed. If a shockable rhythm is not detected, the AED will prompt the user to check the victim for a pulse, and to perform CPR if needed.
Who can use an AED?
Almost anyone can learn to operate an AED with a few hours of training-no medical background is needed to use an AED. In fact, the American Heart Association says, "AEDs are sophisticated, computerized devices that are reliable and simple to operate, enabling lay rescuers with minimal training to administer this lifesaving intervention" (a defibrillation shock), and "flight attendants, security personnel, sports marshals, police officers, firefighters, lifeguard, family members, and many other trained laypersons have used AEDs successfully."
AEDs are designed to help people with minimal training safely use them in tense, emergency situations. They have numerous built-in safeguards and are designed to deliver a shock only if the AED detects that one is necessary.
Their ease of use and built-in safety mechanisms make AEDs suitable for use in community or company-wide programs
You can help create a Heart Safe Community by learning to use an AED and/or helping to place AEDs in public places.
- The American Heart Association and Red Cross report that the chance of survival has moved from 3% with CPR to 50% with AEDs and CPR.
- For every minute that goes by without defibrillation, a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival decreases by 10%. After 10 minutes, the chance of survival is practically nonexistent.
- Tests have shown that AEDs can be operated by someone with a 6th grade mentality.
- AEDs are voice automated to walk the responder through the process with easy to follow prompts.
- AEDs are programmed to only shock specific heart rhythms where a shock is necessary and will not shock inappropriate rhythms.
- Any trained AED user is protected from liability by the Good Samaritan Law passed by congress.
- A law was passed to require AEDs in all federal buildings, and all Philadelphia Public School.
- The cost of an AED is about what most schools will spend on one new computer system.
- The cost of training for AEDs by the Red Cross is only an additional $10.00 above the CPR training the coaches are already required to have.
- The only negative information that has been noted is that an AED can only be used on someone with a minimum weight of 90 lbs., which you learn in training.