What is an Automated External Defibrilator (AED) ?
For those amongst us who have not heard of an AED, it is a small portable device used to treat casualties who are in Cardiac Arrest. Cardiac Arrest is a condition when the heart suddenly stops beating, this in turn stops the blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. When a casualty is in Cardiac Arrest they will be experiencing a rapid, irregular heartbeat known as Ventricular Fibrillation (V-Fib). When this occurs an AED is needed to administer an electric shock in an attempt to restore a normal heart rhythm. For every minute that passes without the heart being restored into its normal rhythm there is a 10% reduction in the survival rate of the casualty so having quick access to an AED and the knowledge of how to use it is really very important. An AED really can save a person’s life.
The HSE have recently announced that training in how to use of an AED in First Aid should now be included on all workplace first aid courses. This addition to standard first aid training is in line with the Resuscitation Council (UK) opinion that using an AED now forms a standard part of basic life support. This training will be introduced over the next 6 months and all First Aid training providers will be required to deliver AED training as standard by December 2016.