With more than 10.000 out-of-hospital arrests happening each year in the U.S., Americans slowly but surely understand the importance of CPR training and AED use. With such frightening numbers in mind, larger companies are adopting a conscious stance to equip the working places of their employees with AEDs, besides first aid kits for a basic medical emergency.
In general, cardiac emergency plans (in the event of a heart attack or a sudden cardiac arrest) include having an automated external defibrillator (AED) on-site, as per the AHA (American Heart Association) recommendations. However, some still businesses that haven’t grasped the urgency of implementing AEDs in the workspace. When equipping the workplace with office supplies, purchasing an AED might not be high on the list of priorities for many company officials, unfortunately.
Having an AED in the workspace means having the option to react fast and efficiently whenever a co-worker, a client, or a guest at the office suffers a cardiac arrest. AEDs are crucial pieces of life-saving tools that companies should risk being without.
What Are AEDs?
In essence, an AED is a small and compact lightweight machine that tracks a person’s cardiac rhythm. AEDs are designed to identify irregularities in the heart rhythm, known as either ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Most commonly, people know these life-threatening situations as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Before today, AEDs were only intended to be used by medical professionals like nurses, paramedics, and doctors, but that’s not the case anymore.
AEDs are becoming more publicly available so that everyone can use them when a health hazard occurs.
The Legal Requirements for AED Use
Even though there aren’t any national-level requirements for AED use in the workplace, still, things are looking up. Each of the 50 states in the U.S. has created and enforced laws and regulations to suggest AED use in the workplace and in public spaces.
More specifically, there are certain industries and establishments that are obligated to have an AED, and thankfully, every state in the U.S. extends liability protection in the event of using an AED, either in the workplace or public spaces.
Some of the businesses that are legally bound to have an AED on site are:
- Health clubs
- Dental offices
- Places with a lot of foot traffic, and more.
The Benefits of Having an AED in the Workplace
Other than being the go-to tool to boost someone’s survival odds in the case of an SCA, having an AED in the workplace is very beneficial for workplace safety.
During an SCA, an AED Improves Survival Chances by 60%
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), when a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, using an AED immediately can boost their survival odds by 60%. This is due to the fact that the electric shock delivered by an automated external defibrillator restores the normal heartbeat that prevents possible fatal consequences on the heart and other organs.
AEDs Can Lower the Number of SCA deaths
By having an AED on hand in the workplace, the workplace preparedness of employers is automatically optimized. Additionally, having an AED in the workplace can help raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond to it, which can help reduce the number of casualties.
Installing AED in the workplace is easy
AED installation is a pretty straightforward process. It takes little time to install, and anyone can do it. The majority of available AEDs can be mounted on a wall, so they come in a mountable box, making the tool easy to install.
In addition, most AEDs include instructions on the gear itself or in a pamphlet that comes with the box. With that in mind, using an AED is pretty self-explanatory.
Today’s AEDs Are Easy to Use
Modern AEDs are incredibly simple to use and require no special training, in terms of possessing special skills, etc. The versatility of AEDs lies in their ability to be properly used by non-medical individuals.
The majority of AEDs on the market are designed to prompt voice commands to guide the user throughout the process. Moreover, there are visuals, too, that help keep track of the progress while delivering an electrical shock to an SCA victim.
In addition, many of the AED models intended for non-medical use come with a CPR mode of action, which means the machine guides the user on how to perform CPR while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.
AED Electric Shocks Restore a normal Heart Rhythm During Ventricular Fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is a serious heart condition that renders the heart to stop beating. VF can happen to anyone and in any place. To help restore a normal cardiac rhythm, the only way to do it is by shocking the heart, and only an AED can do that.
By having an AED in the workplace, should an employee, a client, or an office guest experience VF, you’ll be able to help them stay alive until professionals arrive. In the event of VF, acting promptly can make all the difference to the victim, which makes workspace AEDs that much more important.
Employers Can Train Employees in AED Use
As we mentioned, using an AED does not require any special skills or strenuous training. AEDs come equipped with instructions, both through voice commands and visual aids, so employers themselves can teach the method to the employees in a matter of minutes.
With an AED in place, you don’t need to worry about any extra materials to purchase or instructors to hire — the only thing your workspace needs in an AED and a quick run-down of its functionalities.
Other than the medical reasons for having an AED in the workplace, there are other examples of the benefits of workplace AEDs.
A Budget-Friendly Investment
We are familiar with the notion that a lot of employers choose not to include AEDs in their inventory because they consider it an additional cost. However, that is not entirely true, and quite on the contrary.
Once purchased, AEDs can serve you up to 8 years, so if you divide the cost of the machine into its lifespan, you’ll understand that the initial cost is nothing compared to its benefits.
On average, solid AEDs can cost as little as $1,200, so given their lifespan, and the fact that it saves lives, the investment is a no-brainer.
AEDs Elevate the Image of the Company
Companies that have included AEDs in their inventory are generally perceived as responsible and reputable employers. Possessing an AED can work in favor of the employer in ways that employees will feel safe in their workplace and tend to stay with the company longer.
In the U.S., some businesses are obligated to have an AED in the workplace, while others are not. Those that are not obliged and yet choose to have one make the decision to position themselves as a trustworthy employer that offers a safe working pace for their employees.
AEDs Are Cost-Effective
Since they run on batteries, AEDs won’t stretch the electric bill. Companies that worry about energy consumption and pin the issue as the reason for not getting an AED for the office can rest easy knowing that AEDs don’t require electricity to run.
Key Takeaway: What Are the Benefits of AEDs in the Workplace?
From allowing employees to feel safer while working to boosting the company’s profiles and reputation, AEDs can really do a lot for both the victim of SCA and the employer. As compact and lightweight machines, AEDs are easy to transport and can be easily installed, and hassle-free.
Most AEDs come in a wall-mountable box making the process of installation fairly easy. Anyone can install an AED, so there’s really no need to hire someone to install it. Plus, using an AED is a straightforward process that’s rather self-explanatory. In other words, your company won’t be put through extra costs for employee training or maintenance.
If you’re still on the fence about whether to dedicate a bit of your budget to purchasing an AED for the workplace, remember that if a cardiac arrest happens to your employees while at work, an AED can save their life.
Would you rather save a thousand bucks or the life of your employee? We hope you choose the second option.