Once you have an AED on site now what do you do?
One of the first things you need to do is to notify everyone in your building that you now have an AED available for medical emergencies. This should not be a one time event, but should occur at least several times per year due to turnover of staff and residents. Everyone needs to know where the AED is located even if you have 24 hour security in your building.
Do you need formal procedures?
We highly recommend the development and implementation of Medical Emergency Response Procedures if you do not already have them. If you already have them it is simple to update them to include your AEDs. The main change to make is to require that staff who respond to medical emergencies must always bring the AED with them in addition to a first aid kit.
How can we test to make sure our procedures work?
We recommend practice medical emergency response drills at least twice per year similar to fire drills. They will help reveal any issues and provide an opportunity to make adjustments as needed. One important factor to evaluate in these drills is response time. The reason is because a person who is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest only has approximately 10 minutes to survive. With each minute that passes their chance of survival goes down by 10%. After three minutes a person’s brain starts to die due to lack of oxygen. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends a rapid collapse-to-shock goal of three minutes to give the victim the greatest chance of survival. If you are unable to have the AED started within three minutes you need to revise your procedures or add additional AEDs to your building.
Having a medical emergency response plan is critical to help save lives. The last thing you want in an emergency is uncertainty of what people need to do. A delay in response time could be fatal. Please ensure your AED solution includes a medical emergency response plan.