What is an AED and What Makes it So Valuable
A new medical device has been showing up around San Jose in some of the unlikeliest of places. Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, have been installed in shopping malls and schools, in offices and in factories and even at sporting arenas such as HP Pavillion. The reason behind those deployments is simple enough – in an emergency an automated external defibrillator can literally mean the difference between life and death.
An AED works by delivering a quick electrical impulse straight to the heart, shocking the heart back to its regular rhythm. Heart disease is a major problem in the United States, and the risks are only expected to get worse in the future. Those suffering from heart disease can suffer from a periodic loss of normal rhythm, and in some cases that can be fatal.
If an automated external defibrillator is available, trained personnel can use the device to shock the heart back to its regular rhythm while they wait for help to arrive. In many cases the simple act of using the AED combined with CPR can save the life of the individual.
In the Sports Arena
Automated external defibrillators have been showing up on football fields, soccer stadiums and other sports venues at an unprecedented rate. These devices are particularly popular in places where high school sports are played, and for a very good reason.
Over the past couple of years, there have been a number of high profile instances in which sports stars simply collapsed on the field, sometimes with tragic results. The problem is that some congenital heart defects can go completely unnoticed for years, even with regular medical exams. Those latent heart problems often become apparent only when the athlete has an attack during play.
Having an automated external defibrillator on hand allows the medical staff to act quickly, possibly saving the life of the young athlete. Many teachers and coaches have already been trained in the use of these lifesaving devices, and many more are expected to receive that training in the future.
Simple to Use
One of the advantages of an AED is that it is so simple to use. In an emergency, even an untrained person can successfully use an AED to shock the heart back to life, but it is still important for people to receive basic instruction in the use of these devices. The San Jose American Heart Association or the American Red Cross provides training on how to use these devices.
When a school, office building, factory or other venue receives a defibrillator, the management of the facility typically selects a number of key employees to receive extensive AED, CPR, and first-aid training. That training consists of instruction in the proper use of the AED, from removing the device from its storage area to using it on the patient. Using an AED is simple, and the training is about 3 hours. That ease of use is one more reason so many automated external defibrillators have been showing up in schools, offices, factories and sports arenas throughout the country.
For more information on purchasing an AED or becoming trained on how to use this life saving device, please contact the local American Heart Association office in San Jose.