What are the benefits of having an AED in the workplace?

Approximately 30,000 Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests occur every year in the UK

An AED may not seem like an essential piece of office kit, until you need it.

When you consider your workplace supplies, investing in a piece of life-saving medical equipment might not be at the top of the list. Yet with over 30,000 sudden cardiac arrests (SCAs) occurring outside of hospital in the UK every year it’s never been more important to be prepared.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a vital piece of life-saving equipment that no workplace should be without. With the average emergency service response time to a cardiac incident now standing at eleven minutes, it’s important that your workplace knows how to act quickly when a medical emergency such as a cardiac arrest occurs.

Less than 1 in 10 people in the UK survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This has been partly attributed to two factors that businesses are perfectly placed to improve:

> There aren’t enough people prepared to perform CPR when someone has a cardiac arrest
>> there aren’t enough defibrillators

Without immediate treatment, 90-95% of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims will die.

By having an AED in your workplace and training colleagues in CPR, businesses can play an important part in helping more people survive a cardiac arrest.

SCAs usually cause death if they are not treated within minutes. The only effective treatment for someone suffering a cardiac arrest is the combination of CPR and the use of a defibrillator (AED).

An AED is a small, lightweight machine that identifies an irregular heart rhythm and delivers an electrical shock to the heart to try and restore a natural one. Originally only used
by healthcare professionals, the advanced technology and their easy to follow aural or pictorial instructions, means AEDs can be used by those with minimal first aid training. The defibrillator will only shock if it detects an irregular heartbeat, so you cannot deliver a shock to someone who doesn’t require it.

For every minute that passes without the use of a defibrillator the victim’s survival rate will decrease by 10%.

If a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, the chance of survival increases from 6% to 74%

So the question we must now ask is: why are there still so few AEDs present in workplace and public settings in the UK?

Whilst defibrillators have been proven to be instrumental in saving millions of lives, only 49 per cent of businesses currently have one on their premises. Installing an AED in your workplace can also raise your company profile locally, should you choose to give access to the AED for the local community; demonstrating to colleagues and your community that your business takes people’s safety seriously.

The emergency services average response time to a cardiac event related incident in an urban area is 11 minutes

Starting at around £1,000 and with many now available with finance or lease options, an AED might not be a cheap addition to your workplace but it is a worthwhile investment. Not having one on your business premises could result in a devastating loss of a life if a cardiac incident occurs and the emergency services can’t reach you in time.

With every minute crucial to saving a life, an AED is a vital piece of kit – can your workplace afford to be without it?

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