The heart is a muscle that operates through regulating electrical nerve impulses. When something occurs to prevent the heart from pumping properly, the remedy might be an external electric shock, administered by an automated external defibrillator (AED). These devices monitor the victim’s heart rate and can determine if an electric shock will help. Semi-automatic heart defibrillators will require the user to prompt the machine when to administer the shock, but automatic models simply warn bystanders to move away from the victim before it automatically sends an electric impulse through the pads on the chest.
When using a heart defibrillator, the rescuer does not have to have training in either medicine or the use of the device. This makes these ideal for placement in office buildings, airports, and schools, where they might be used by laypeople. Training on the device is recommended for anyone who works in the building with the AED since prior training can make the rescuer more relaxed when using the machine and less inclined to panic. Some heart defibrillators have additional training attachments to allow trainees a hands on method to learn how to use the device.
The placement of a heart defibrillator in a public place should be clearly labeled with signage. This will direct those unfamiliar with the facility to the location of the AED. When an emergency arises and an AED is required, seconds count. Just a delay of a minute or two seeking out a hidden heart defibrillator can be a matter of life and death. Having a heart defibrillator does not mean that it will be used, but in the event that it is needed, it’s location should be clearly labeled and made known to all those who work in the building. This will reduce the time to find the unit and begin its use to save the life of the victim.