Thursday, 19 April 2012

Should we have an AED's in our workplace?

In the press recently we have seen several references to high profile sportsmen  suffering from a cardiac arrest, also much discussion has taken place over the past few days; asking should  we should test people before they undertake high stress fitness regimes.

In my experiance the workplace can also be just as stressful; where the heart can be put under varying levels of stress.  Therefore should we consider having AED's in our workplaces?  I believe before we can answer this question; we should first find out what an AED is and what benifit it can do for us?

A defibrillator or AED is a life-saving machine that delivers and electric shock to the heart which when used promptly, in the case of sudden cardiac arrest or a heart attack.  When someone has a sudden cardiac arrest the heart commonly goes into a state of ventricular fibrillation (VF), a kind of wobbling muscle spasm rather than a proper heart beat which means that blood is not being pumped around the body. While it is in this state applying an electric shock from a defibrillator can restart the heart and help save that person’s life.  Performing CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) helps to prolong the period of time that the heart remains in this shockable rhythm until defibrillation is available.

The UK Resuscitation council estimates that there are around 30 000 cardiac arrests in the UK outside of hospital every year. So knowing how to perform CPR and increasing the number of AED's available in public and work places will directly increase the survival rates of cardiac arrest victims.

The scientific evidence to support early defibrillation is overwhelming; the delay from collapse to delivery of the first shock is the single most important determinant of survival.  If defibrillation is delivered promptly, survival rates as high as 75% have been reported. The chances of successful defibrillation decline at a rate of about 8-10% with each minute of delay.

So should we consider putting a AED in our workplace?