When it comes to life-threatening medical emergencies, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is easily at the top of the list. With staggering numbers of fatalities due to SCA in the U.S., reputable health organizations urge citizens to be prepared to respond correctly in such an emergency. In the context of responding properly, there is a combined technique that’s proven to boost an SCA victim’s odds of survival.
We are talking about simultaneously using CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and an AED (automated external defibrillator). The latest guidelines offer a simplified understanding of the utter importance of performing immediately after an SCA occurs and using an AED to shock the heart back to its normal function.
This article discusses the importance and benefits of pairing AEDs and CPR for optimal outcomes.
The Upsides of Pairing CPR With AEDs
The National Institutes of Health states that almost 450,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest every year. The action-triggering statistic implies that SCA can happen to anyone, no matter the time and place.
To improve the survival odds of SCA victims, time is paramount in such critical circumstances. With the combined use of CPR and AED, there is room for significant differences regarding optimal outcomes. Some of the most crucial benefits of pairing CPR with an AED include the following:
- When combined, AEDs and CPR can improve the likelihood of survival when a person is unconscious and their heart has stopped beating. This is possible thanks to the constant chest compressions that keep the blood flowing and reaching the vital organs, along with the defibrillation that jumpstarts the heart.
- Both AEDs and CPR are life-saving methods that are most used in emergencies, and thankfully, they can be used by literally anyone. Thanks to the design of AEDs, they are simple to use and come with integrated audio and visual guidelines that help the person handling the device make the right choices.
- Knowing how to use an AED and CPR makes responders feel more confident during medical emergencies, eliminating the possibility of panicking and making mistakes.
- When used together, AEDs and CPR minimize the risk of brain damage, which is a real possibility if an SCA victim’s brain is left without oxygen for longer than what’s acceptable.
AEDs and CPR Can Be Used By Anyone
AEDs are specifically designed to be easy to operate and understand the functionalities. The Red Cross is one of the organizations that offer training sessions regarding the use of an AED; most of these sessions last for about a couple of hours. However, people can still operate an AED even without formal training because the machine will guide them through all the steps and direct the rescuer on how to use the device.
In recent years, AEDs have become readily available in more and more public spaces like airports, stadiums, and other gathering places.
On the other hand, CPR is a technique that even children as young as 9 years old can learn how to do. Also, during the CPR class, people can take different types of CPR courses and learn what an AED is and how to operate it.
In Las Vegas, people can take special CPR and First Aid classes online at their convenience. These classes are accredited by the AHA (American Heart Organization), which means those who attend will be taught the latest CPR and AED practices.
- AEDs are mobile and easy to carry;
- These devices are self-explanatory and easy to use;
- AEDs guide rescuers on how to use the device;
- AED diagnoses the heart rhythm;
- AEDs send a jolt to an SCA victim’s heart to restore the heartbeat.
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation helps oxygenated blood reach the heart and the brain;
- CPR boosts survival odds and averts damage;
- CPR can keep someone alive until professionals take over.
CPR and AED Training
CPR and AED classes in Las Vegas are available to anyone looking to learn how to respond during a medical emergency. People can take these classes fully online, in person, or through a blended learning model. The type of class you choose depends on different factors, such as the reason for taking the class, your own availability, and so on.
For example, if you want a CPR and AED certificate as part of your employer’s requirements, it’s best to take the class in person. On the other hand, if you want to learn how to give CPR and use an AED for your own benefit, you can opt for an online course.
Some organizations and employers do not accept CPR certifications obtained online, so you must inquire about the necessary requirements before you enroll in a CPR course.
What You’ll Learn in a CPR and First Aid Course
A CPR and First Aid course includes the use of an AED, too. While taking the class, you’ll cover an array of different topics, including:
- How to recognize a sudden cardiac arrest;
- Understand the links in the Chain of Survival;
- The basics and details of high-performance CPR;
- The steps for assessing an unresponsive person;
- How to use an AED on an adult, a child, or an infant;
- How to place a breathing yet unresponsive person in a recovery position;
- Identifying signs of choking in adults, children, and infants and providing adequate treatment, etc.
During your CPR and First Aid certification course, you will learn what it means to be a responder and what the role entails. Additionally, you will understand how to implement standard preventive measures, as well as how to handle an injured person.
The Final Say on Pairing CPR and AED: Boosting Survival Chances for SCA Victims
During sudden cardiac arrest, every second is important as it can mean life or death to the victim. In that context, a confident and fast response is crucial. When used together, CPR and an AED can significantly increase the odds of survival to the extent that the victim survives the emergency.
Sometimes, resuscitating a person with only chest compressions is not enough since their heart’s electrical system might be impaired. In this context, the ideal solution is to use an AED. While CPR will maintain a victim’s blood circulation, the AED will restore the heart’s electrical rhythm. When combined, these two techniques can induce optimal survival odds.
Responders (bystanders, friends, family members, co-workers, etc.) trained in CPR and AED know how to recognize signs of SCA, assess a victim’s vitals, and ultimately, offer the right form of help.
I know how to give CPR. Do I need to know how to use an AED?
In most cases, CPR alone might not be enough to resuscitate someone. When a person’s heart is affected, it often needs to be jolted back to its normal rhythm. In this case, an AED is needed.
If you aren’t familiar with AED use, you can take a CPR and First Aid class. However, if you aren’t trained in AED use at all, you can still use the device, as it will prompt voice commands guiding you through all the steps.
Where do I find an AED?
If you want to purchase a defibrillator for personal use, there are certified stores that sell these devices. On the other hand, if you need an AED when responding to a medical emergency in a public space, these machines are usually positioned in easy-to-spot places, in clear boxes labeled AED.
Can an AED make a mistake?
In general, AEDs are designed to be as accurate as possible and free of technical bugs. AEDs are commonly completely accurate, but there are instances when these devices have not offered an entirely correct diagnosis. Generally, the accuracy rates of AEDs are >99%.
Can I hurt someone if I use an AED?
The chances of misusing an AED are close to null. This is because the instructions are always available on the device itself, and while in use, the AED will generate audio and visual prompts that will instruct operators on the next steps.