Cardiologist explains sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs in the workplace

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Sudden cardiac arrest claims nearly 350,000 victims a year. While most people understand CPR, they’re not usually familiar with other forms of emergency cardiac arrest care that can help them save a life in three to five minutes.

Cardiologist, Dr. Julio Panza and heart patient Drew Arthur tell us more about this important issue.

Drew collapsed at his desk at the age of 35. He flatlined before being resuscitated by an AED or automated external defibrillator.

Research shows workers may suffer sudden cardiac arrest while on the job. Because of this, experts advocate placing AEDs in the workplace and along with proper training for employees on how to use the devices, that can greatly increase the chance of survival.

According to the American Heart Association, studies have shown that sudden cardiac arrest victims who received immediate defibrillation had up to a 60% survival rate, one year after sudden cardiac arrest.

The studies also point out that places of work have disaster preparedness and active shooter plans, but very few have cardiac emergency plans.

Benefits of AEDs in the workplace: 

· Onsite AEDs save precious treatment time, and can improve survival odds because they can be used before emergency medical service (EMS) personnel arrive.

· A heart rhythm in ventricular fibrillation may only be restored to normal by an electric shock.

· The AED is compact, lightweight, portable, battery operated, safe, and easy to use.

· Modern AEDs won`t allow you to shock a victim that has a heartbeat, reducing the risk of doing more harm and reasons for people not to step in and help.

· These devices have a proven track record of helping to save lives in public places as well as in the workplace.

· Placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the workplace, along with providing a proper management system and training for employees on how to use the devices, can mean the difference between life and death.

· Of the sudden cardiac arrest deaths that occur each year—more than 95 percent of the victims die before they reach the hospital.

· When care is provided within five to seven minutes, including early treatment with an AED, survival rates can improve dramatically.

· Using a defibrillator on an individual in cardiac arrest increases his survival rate by 60 percent, according to OSHA. )


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