Safety with Barry – Shock Not Advised!
Those are words you may here if you are you using an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) followed by the voice prompt begin Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
Generally speaking we see AED in public places such as; airports, schools, arenas and quite often in the work place. They are easy to use and will prompt you as the appropriate action you should take if you are providing basic life support while waiting for emergency medical professionals. They are not magic boxes and you should not be afraid to use one! CPR also is not hard and is something everyone should know whether at work, home or play.
AED’s are a critical link in the cardiac chain of survival and the faster you can get one on a person in cardiac atrial fibrillation the better! The percentages go down by 10 percent for every minute you delay employing the AED. That isn’t a long, so time is of the essence.
A few years back during training with a paramedic, I ask the individual how many times they had performed CPR? They stated “approximately 100 times,” my next question was, “well how many lives have you saved doing CPR?” Their response “ZERO.” I was quick to reply, “well you must be the worse paramedic ever!” Their response struck home. “You don’t understand Barry, that by the time we [EMT/Paramedics] get there it, is too late!” Inner Safety Ninja Smack on the back of my head, “duh that makes sense” and that is why it is so important for folks to learn CPR and how to use an AED
While in Maine a couple of weeks ago, I met two individuals who had used AED’s in two separate events. One was successful and one, unfortunately, was not.
The unsuccessful individuals reported that his AED never advised giving a shock on his casualty even though he was there within approximately 8 minutes from the start of the event! He also stated that he performed CPR for approximately thirty minutes before helped arrived. After being relieved by EMT’s he stated that he was completely exhausted.
While he received much praise for his efforts, the individual personally felt dejected as the results were not what he wanted. He questioned why the AED never prompted him to shock the casualty? Without going into great detail, I explained that AED will not start a stopped heart and even his quick response of 8 minutes was too late.
There are lots of reasons to learn CPR and how to use an AED, most importantly, is that perhaps someday, somewhere, someone will depend on you to keep them alive until professional medical help arrives!
Stay Safe My Friends
Your Humble Servant