The AED Saves Lives (but only if we use it!)

ucm541360There is good news and bad news in the world of the AED. The good news is that Automatic External Defibrillators, the portable “shockers” that have taken emergency CPR to new levels of success, are more available than ever.  The bad news? Many regular folks – the people for whom the AED was designed – are afraid to use them.

Every day you read an article about some city or county mandating that AED’s be installed in every municipal building, recreational facility, or police car. Retail, office, and manufacturing settings are getting involved as well. Just as often, you read a story about how the guys on the factory floor or the basketball court – some trained, some not – saved their buddy’s life with CPR and an AED.

The fact is, CPR + AED has twice the survival rate of CPR alone. We need more regular folks to step up, grab the AED down from the wall, and take action!  BUT

  • “…the number of cases when an AED is used is very low — just 0.15-4.3% of cardiac arrests that occur outside of hospitals.”
  • “When asked if they were willing to use the AED, over 80 percent of people said they were wary.”
  • “Less than 5 percent of the public feels comfortable using an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator when someone has a heart attack.”

images_227So why do we hesitate? The studies suggest two big themes:

  • Lack of confidence: No way can I figure that thing out during a crisis!
  • Fear of doing harm: What if I do it wrong and make things worse…and maybe get sued?

If you have ever had these thoughts, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are two things that can combat these doubts: Knowing the machine and knowing the laws.

First, the AED pretty much tells you what to do. Some even “speak” to you and give audio instructions. And it’s nearly impossible to shock a person at the wrong time, because the AED won’t let you.

Second, South Carolina – like at least 36 other states – has a Good Samaritan Law that protects you from liability when giving aid in an emergency.

CPR/AED Training Improves Confidence and Effectiveness

That’s the brief take on fighting the ignorance and fear of the AED. But you can gain real confidence, and deeper knowledge, with proper CPR/AED training. Southeastern-CPR trainers, first responders with decades of life-saving experience, can give you the confidence and know-how to make a difference in time of emergency. If you are in Charleston, the Lowcountry or anywhere in South Carolina, contact us today!