American Heart Association AED Guidelines
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American Heart Association AED Guidelines

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. The American Heart Association have many recommendations in regards as to how to use an AED.

1. Get medical oversight.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may require a physician’s prescription to purchase an AED. The role of the physician varies depending on the size and other characteristics of the program. The designated program coordinator should be responsible for day-to-day program implementation. The responsibilities of the physician may include signing off on or making recommendations on training plans and policies and procedures, evaluating data recorded on an AED during a medical emergency and helping assess each use of an AED to recommend any improvements.

2. Work with local EMS.
Working with your local EMS system is akey step to implementing an AED program. Most states require you to coordinate your AED program with local EMS and to provide follow-up data to EMS after any use of the AED. In states that require registration or application for AED programs, the physician or program coordinator completes this process.

3. Choose an AED.
There are several AEDs on the market that are suitable for a company’s or organization’s AED program. The American Heart Association does not recommend one device over another. The AED you choose should be simple and easy to use. The following are manufacturers that have AED devices cleared by the FDA:

Cardiac Science Defibtech HeartSine Technologies
(800) 426-0337 (866) 333-4248 (866) 478-7463

Physio-Control Welch Allyn
(800) 442-1142 (800) 535-6663

Philips Healthcare
ZOLL Medical Corporation
(800) 348-9011

4. Contact technical support.
Make sure you have technical support when your AED device requires it. Call the manufacturer’s technical support number and see what kind of response you get. Is a representative available to help you right away? Are you on hold for a long time? Does your call go to voice mail? Also, be sure to research the history of the manufacturer from which you are considering purchasing the AED.

5. Make sure program support is available.
Some AED manufacturers provide help with program implementation and ongoing support. They can assist with placement, medical authorization, registration, training and supplies. Review your capabilities and determine if services like these would be helpful in deploying your AED program.

6. Place your AEDs in visible and accessible locations.
Effective AED programs are designed to deliver a shock to a victim within three to five minutes after the person collapses. Use a three-minute response time as a guideline to help you determine how many AEDs you need and where to place them. AEDs can be placed near elevators, cafeterias, main reception areas, in secured or restricted access areas and on walls in main corridors.

7. Develop a training plan.
AED users should be trained in CPR and the use of an AED. Training in the use of an AED can help increase the comfort and confidence level of responders. Some companies and organizations recruit and train employees as responders. Responders are trained in CPR and the use of an AED so someone is always available to respond to an emergency. The American Heart Association offers CPR
AED training in a classroom setting and an eLearning format.

8. Raise awareness of the AED program.
After initial implementation of the AED program, provide information to all employees at your company about the AED program. You may want to use internal newsletters, posters, magnets, signage or other means to promote your AED program and identify where the devices are located. By continually raising awareness of the program, you reinforce to employees that your company or organization is committed to their safety.

9. Implement an ongoing maintenance routine.
It is important to do a weekly or monthly visual inspection of the AEDs to ensure they are in working order. The program coordinator or another designated person can do the inspections. This person develops a written checklist to assess the readiness of the AEDs and supplies. A checklist supplements regularly scheduled, more detailed inspections recommended by the manufacturer. Also, talk with your manufacturer regularly to get the latest information about software updates or upgrades.

And those are the recommendations that the American Heart Association has regarding AED’s.