June 28 2023 4 minutes read

What is AED Training? Press this button to improve the survival rate

What is AED Training? Press this button to improve the survival rate

In the UK, cardiac arrest survival rates are very low at just 1 in 10. If you use a defibrillator within 10 minutes of the cardiac arrest, the survival rate can significantly improve. In fact, a defib is the only way to restart a heart that has been arrested. This signifies the importance of AED training.

“The proportion of people surviving a cardiac arrest that happens outside of the hospital has reached its highest level of 10.8 percent – twice the rate it was a decade ago”

Source: London Ambulance Service – https://bit.ly/3aOKzDk

AED stands for Automated External Defibrillation. You may have noticed defibrillator machines installed in public spaces so people can help in an emergency dotted around offices, gyms, schools, and factories. It would be an understatement to say that AED training can help save lives.

Here are some essential facts about an AED.

About AED machines

AED’s are designed to help people who are suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, where the heart suddenly stops beating. Fortunately, an AED is designed to be fairly simple to use, even for an untrained bystander. The medical device analyses the rhythm of a person’s heart and delivers an electric shock – also called defibrillation. This helps the heart revert to an optimal rhythm.

A good idea to get AED trained?

You be the judge…

Heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest are among the leading causes of death in the UK. Statistics tell us that heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter (27%) of all deaths; that’s nearly 170,000 deaths each year – an average of 460 people each day or one death every three minutes.

A cardiac arrest is a life-threatening event. It occurs when there’s an issue with the heart’s normal electrical activity. Often there is no warning of a cardiac arrest, and people with no history of heart trouble – even very fit people can experience it, at any age, any time, in any place.

A person suffering from cardiac arrest will lose consciousness immediately. Without swift CPR and defibrillation, sadly death can follow. Fortunately, one way to improve the survival rate is to use an AED, explaining why they have been appearing around the country in recent years free for the public to use in a suspected cardiac emergency.

Ideally, a person experiencing a heart attack will be seen by a medical professional immediately, but that isn’t always possible. Occasionally, the emergency services can’t always get to the scene fast enough. For every minute of delayed defibrillation, the rate of survival reduces by around ten percent. Once again the facts signify the importance of AED training. With training, life can be saved.

Are cardiac arrest and heart attack the same thing?

While a heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest, a cardiac arrest doesn’t cause heart attacks.

  • A heart attack usually occurs due to a blockage or partial blockage of the main artery pumping blood optimally to and from the heart.
  • A cardiac arrest is an electrical issue that affects the heartbeat. It loses its normal rhythm and stops pumping blood around the body.

How do you tell the difference? A heart attack victim is usually conscious, suffering shooting pains in their left arm as well as chest pain. On the other hand, a cardiac arrest victim will suddenly lose consciousness with no warning.

Know how to use an AED machine?

Defibrillators are very simple, designed to be used by anyone with or without training. A button on the face of an AED operates the device, followed by simple vocal prompts to instruct the user. It sounds daft we know, but seriously the use of an AED is made idiot-proof. Although using an AED doesn’t necessarily require training, many tend to agree it offers a great deal of confidence in acting swiftly and effectively during an emergency. Minutes saved here are vital as we all know.

CPR and AED Demonstration Clip by the European Resuscitation Council

Do you need AED training?

Although it is not compulsory for employers to install an AED to comply with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. The Health and Safety Executive states that if your organisation’s assessment needs identify a requirement for an AED, then it’s highly recommended your staff are fully trained in its use.

Basic AED awareness training is part of the Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work and the Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work courses. Basic awareness is an ideal supplementation to your first aid training knowledge in workplaces where an AED is not necessary requirement. Workplaces should consider advanced training to gain in-depth knowledge, troubleshooting, maintaining, and testing an AED specific to their workplace.

Providing good quality AED training, followed by routinely practising short scenarios will help your staff react with confidence in an emergency.

Need to know more? Here’s where we can help. Ofqual regulated AED training in London and nationwide is part of our comprehensive course portfolio. Please call us for further information on 020 7112 8543, live chat or email enquiries@firstaidsafety.co.uk

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