The number of cases of cardiac arrest has hit an all-time high with Emergency Medical Responders attending to as many as 295,000 cardiac arrest cases every year, a number that is higher than people dying from cancer, AIDS and traffic accidents all together. This condition can occur in people of any age group; infants, teenagers, adults and, the elderly at any time. An estimated 7,000 children fall victim to cardiac arrest each year.
It is important to use an AED device in the first few minutes to increase the chances of survival just as much as it is important to make sure that AED devices are functioning properly.
AEDs are life-saving devices that can detect Arrhythmias and treat them by defibrillation. The device functions by administering a shock which is based on the electrical currents naturally passing through the heart. When Arrhythmias occur, giving a shock to the heart stops it momentarily, allowing it to be revived in a normal pattern once again.
You should take proper care of your AED device and should store it in the right way to make sure that it is visible to others and is available to them immediately in times of need. This also includes not locking them up so that no one steals it. Yes, they are expensive but locking them will do no good if they are inaccessible in times of need. SCAs do not allow you the time to go around looking for a key or authorized personnel to unlock the device and hand it over to the responder, it should be readily available. Also, it needs to be ascertained that AED units are not hidden from view. In places like airports and malls, they should be placed in clear sight so that people can get to them without having any trouble.
Maintaining an AED unit is also very crucial for its proper functioning. If the responders help immediately and do everything right only to find out that the AED has run out of charging, the chances of saving the victim go back down to zero. It also needs to be inspected after every 3 months to make sure that the device is functioning properly. Here is how you can keep a check yourself as well:
- Check the AED unit by turning it on to see that it is properly charged.
- The status indicated should show that the device is ready to be used once you shut it off.
- No power-back shows that there is a manufacturing fault.
- The AED device should be kept prepared for emergency use along with the accessories that might be needed.
- Make sure that it is not damaged or broken in anyway.
- Check the expiration date on the AED pads with the electrodes to see that they are fit for use.
- Check the expiration date of the batteries too.
- It is always a good idea to have extra batteries as well.