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Americans unprepared for workplace cardiac emergencies

Most U.S. employees are not prepared for cardiac emergencies at work, according to new surveys of employees and workplace safety managers.

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The surveys, commissioned by the American Heart Association and released in June, 2017, revealed most workers don’t have access to CPR and first aid training, and half could not locate an automated external defibrillator, or AED, at work.

There are about 10,000 cardiac arrests in the workplace each year in the United States, according to a report from the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Workplaces are doing a better job promoting heart health through smoking cessation, gym memberships and healthier foods, said Peter Fromm, R.N., administrator at the South Nassau Communities Hospital Center for Cardiovascular Health in Oceanside, New York. But it’s time workplaces also prepare to save the lives of employees and customers, he said.

First aid training teaches people to provide comfort and reduce the likelihood of further injury, Fromm said. When the heart stops, CPR is needed to pump oxygen-rich blood to the brain, lungs and other vital organs. An AED can then be used to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm. Training familiarizes people with AEDs, but the devices themselves are “practically foolproof,” he said.

Considering people spend a third of their lives at work, learning to treat an injury or save a life makes sense, Fromm said.

CLICK HERE to read more about the survey results and resources for your workplace.

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