One common thing that I have noticed in many of my classes are that people are often reluctant or hesitant to use the AED. Unfortunately, a recent study conducted by the Annals of Emergency Medicine suggested that nearly half of the population could not identify an automated external defibrillator (AED) and 43 percent of people would not use one even if they could. So what were the reasons? Various reasons given included the following: not being trained; not being familiar with how they are used; and fear of harming the victim. Also, some believed they might be held liable for a poor outcome and the possibility of subsequent litigation.
However, it is important to remember as I tell my students that when a person is unresponsive, not breathing and you can’t detect a pulse, the first thing to do is tell someone to call 911. Then, we need to request for someone to "grab an AED". But if you ask someone to grab an AED and they don't know what it looks like and they don't know where to get one-then we might have a problem. This potential challenges only reiterates the need for increased AED training and not being afraid to use the AED if you have it.
Subsequently, remember.....if there’s an AED, go ahead and use it.!! Help me as I spread the awareness of installing and implementing AEDs in as many public places as possible. They can make a crucial difference.
Have a healthy and happy holiday.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.