As the leading cause of death in the US, 10,000 cardiac arrests are reported each year. The immediate use of CPR and AED implementation can significantly raise survival rates if the necessary tools are made available. CPR helps circulate oxygenated blood to the brain, then the AED is attached and delivers a shock to restart the heart.
A new study by PhD. Scholar Brian Haskins, from the Monash Prehospital Emergency Care Centre in Australia, found that bystanders in schools provided CPR to 95.5% of cases of sudden cardiac arrest compared to 78% in other public places. While these numbers are impressive, they lowered substantially when it came to the use of AEDs. 26% percent used AED in schools while only 10% used AEDs in other public spaces. The study suggests that bystanders are less likely to use an AED due to poor advertisement that one is available.
Mr. Haskins believes that bystanders are hesitant to use an AED for fear of hurting the victim. For Australia, the solution lies with an emergency app called GoodSAM. GoodSAM is an emergency dispatch system that alerts nearby responders when a sudden cardiac arrest is reported. AEDs registered on the Ambulance Victoria AED Registry can be located immediately. “… you need to get an AED to someone within five minutes of them collapsing,” reminds Mr. Haskins, “so that means that it has to be 2.5 minutes away from a public place where a cardiac arrest might occur.”
For the U.S., we have an app of similar nature called PulsePoint. In addition to locating AEDs and alerting first responders, PulsePoint reports any issues or obstacles related to the nearby AEDs. These obstacles may include a closed business or a device that is no longer working. Anybody can be empowered to save a life with the multiple languages offered by the American app. Verified users can register with the app to be notified if someone nearby is in need of CPR.
It’s important to note that anyone can use an AED. Most devices have voice instruction, and the rest relies on the confidence of the responder. If you’d like to learn more or become trained in CPR and AED use, visit our classes page. Nannies, new parents, teachers, and anyone interested in the tools to save a life is welcomed and encouraged to join.