Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are often just the device needed to save the life of someone suffering cardiac arrest. For this reason, they are kept in most public places and private businesses. However, a new study finds that these life-saving devices are not always easy to get to.
Timothy Chan, a researcher at the University of Toronto, and his team of researchers looked at the cases of 451 Toronto residents who went into cardiac arrest within 100 meters of an AED — about a football field’s distance. One-quarter of the time, the devices were behind locked doors. They found that venues such as schools, office buildings, and recreational facilities with AEDs were locked during off-hours. Unfortunately, two-thirds of cardiac arrests in the study happened over nights and weekends.
Making AEDs Available to the Public
It makes sense to lock doors when your business is closed, and most employers purchase AEDs with only employees in mind so storing behind those locked doors is only logical. If we could figure out a way to make more privately purchased AEDs available to the public, we might be able to make some serious safety improvements. Work is being done to solve these issues, such as an app that shows users where the nearest AED is or companies working to create weather- and vandalism-proof AED containers. One of Chan’s ideas is for banks to make AEDs available in ATM lobbies.
Of course, in order for these plans to be feasible the general public must have CPR and AED training to use these devices. At Cardiac Care & Safety, Inc, we make this training affordable, efficient, and convenient. For more information on the study mentioned above, check out this article from HealthDay.