There are some secrets that are better left untold, like what Chandler from Friends does for a job or who Gossip Girl is, but your life-saving AED should not be one of these.
Once you have invested in a defibrillator, whether it is for your workplace or for public use, it is crucial that your device is easy to find in an emergency. Around 13 people are sadly lost each day in Ireland to a sudden cardiac arrest, so it’s vital that you have a defibrillator available and easy to find at all times. Is your AED a secret?
Exposing your AED
There are many ways that you can boost the visibility of your defibrillator:
- Purchase wall signs that will direct people to the location of your defibrillator and inform them that you actually have one available. If there are several floors in your building, then it may be a good idea to place a wall sign near the stairs/lift to point people to the device.
- Educate your employees or the community on the importance of defibrillators. We would also advise that you offer some basic training on how to use your defibrillator, as this will help to familiarise people with the particular AED model that you have.
- Storing your defibrillator in a cabinet or wall bracket will not only protect your device from wear-and-tear and theft, but will help to guarantee that it does not go unnoticed in an emergency.
It is essential that your AED is located in an accessible area. For example, some offices may be locked at night, meaning that people cannot access the life-saving device in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. Conducting a site assessment before you install your defibrillator will help to guarantee that you choose the most accessible location.
Why is having an accessible AED important?
It may be tempting to hide your defibrillator away, to avoid people misusing or damaging the device. However, it is crucial that your defibrillator is easy to access at all times. For every minute that passes, a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10%. If a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within the first 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival rises from 6% to 74%.
Sadly, no-one is immune to SCA and the only definitive treatment for this is CPR and use of a defibrillator. This is why we think that all public areas, such as schools, gyms, shopping centres and workplaces should be equipped with accessible AEDs.
Share your secret
How do you ensure that your life-saving defibrillator is easy to find? Share your AED secrets with us by tweeting @defibshop_ie.