Do you know what AED stands for? More importantly, do you know where the nearest AED is and will it be maintained and ready to be used?
Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, are used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest. Different than a heart attack, which is a blockage or plumbing issue, cardiac arrest is an electrical issue where the heart beat becomes irregular and requires a shock to return to a normal rhythm. When someone has a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in the presence of a bystander willing to assist, it is tragic when there is not an AED available. However even worse, it is utterly heartbreaking when there IS an AED available, but it has not been maintained and has a dead battery or expired pads.
When many AEDs are purchased, they come with an offer to purchase a maintenance plan that will alert the owner when the AED requires maintenance or upkeep. There are also free options available through the national AED registry or the MN AED Registry. In 2014, the American Heart Association in Minnesota seeks to require all public access AEDs, meaning any AED intended for use by the general public or employees at a workplace (not AEDs intended for individual private use or those intended to move around from site to site) to be registered with either the free MN AED registry or another private registry that includes a maintenance plan. This will ensure that all AEDs intended for public use are well maintained and ready to be used in an emergency.
AEDs are a product that, once placed, we all hope will never be used – but if they are placed they are of no use unless they are properly maintained and ready to save a life. Please join the American Heart Association here in MN as we seek to ensure that all public AEDs are ready to deliver that lifesaving shock by sending a message to your legislators!
Then, register for our 2014 Heart on the Hill to be held April 2, 2014 where will be talking to legislators about this issue.