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Creating and Maintaining a

Public Access Defibrillation Program

Our FREE 6-step video series will show you how.

Public Access Defibrillation Overview: The Essential Information

Public Access Defibrillation Site Assessment: AED Placement

Public Access Defibrillation Select: Choose the best AED

Public Access Defibrillation Schedule: AED Training

Public Access Defibrillation  Secure: Medical Oversight

Public Access Defibrillation Set-up: AED Maintenance

Public Access Defibrillation Start Tracking: AED Program Management

The Essential Information

 Creating and Maintaining a Public Access Defibrillation Program

I’m Robin Vogt and I’m the Director of AED Program Management for Cardiac Life. Cardiac Life is a small Woman-Owned Business located in Western New York.

By watching this series of videos we hope to be able to share with you:

  • What is an AED?
  • The benefits of having an AED program
  • The 6 steps to a successful AED program

We believe the Cardiac Life 6 Step Public Access Defibrillation Program will help you whether you currently have a program, or are looking to start one.

What is an AED?

An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is a self-contained, battery-operated life saving device. AEDs have an internal algorithm that helps determine whether or not someone is in cardiac arrest. If the AED determines a person is in cardiac arrest, it can deliver an electrical shock, or shocks, that could save the person’s life. Currently, there are several different FDA approved manufacturers on the market.

Typically, a person in sudden cardiac arrest is unconscious and not breathing. The AED will determine if a shock is necessary or not. It’s important to know that an AED will not deliver a shock if a shock is not needed. A lot of people are not aware of this and have fears of potentially hurting someone.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not the same as a heart attack. They are two different things. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is when the heart has gone into an irregular rhythm and the AED is used to shock the heart back to a regular rhythm. A heart attack is caused by blockage of a coronary artery, which results in damage to the heart muscle. Some, but not all, heart attacks result in sudden cardiac arrest.  

As you will see, AEDs come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. It is important to know that all AEDs are not created equal; we are going to discuss some of the differences in a later video.

What are the benefits of having an AED program?

The obvious benefit of having an AED program is that it empowers you to save a life. Having a medical device on hand that a lay rescuer, or anyone that comes into your building, could use to save a life is the ultimate benefit. AEDs bridge the gap between the time that an incident occurs and when the ambulance is able to get there. There is definitive evidence showing that the increase in AED availability has resulted in an increased likelihood that a life will be saved.

In New York State, the AED law was first put into place by Governor George Pataki in 1998. It was his intention to put more AEDs out into the field, into the layperson’s hands, so that more rescues can occur and more lives can be saved. This AED law has also encouraged people to want to become CPR trained. Similar to the evidence supporting the increase in AEDs, studies have shown that an increase in the population of trained lay rescuers increases the likelihood that we can save a life, which is the true benefit of having an AED program.

Here are some staggering numbers:

  • 500,000 - the number of people who die every year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  • 10% - how much the chance of survival decreases every minute without a defibrillator - so every minute counts
  • 10 minutes - The average response time of an EMT
  • 70% is the likelihood of survival when a defibrillator is used on a victim

What are the 6 steps to creating and maintaining an AED program?

We are going to discuss what it means to have an AED program. You will need to know and understand the inner workings of this program, and provide the oversight and management of the program.

The 6 steps:

  1. Site Assessment
  2. Selecting an AED
  3. Schedule training
  4. Secure medical oversight
  5. Set-up maintenance
  6. Start tracking

I will go through each of these steps in greater detail individually [in this video series,] so you will have chance to gain a deeper understanding.