February is Heart Month in Canada. This month is about focusing on the importance of cardiovascular health and how to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Using an aed on a man in cardiac arrest It takes eight minutes on average for an ambulance to arrive on scene in a city. In rural areas, it can take up to 25 minutes.

How long would it take you to get help in your workplace?

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death worldwide. Up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. That’s one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes.

Only 5% of cardiac arrest victims survive without immediate treatment.

Without immediate treatment, only about 5% of cardiac arrest victims survive and a victim’s chance of survival diminishes by about 10% for every minute that passes after a collapse.

If an AED is present, cardiac arrest victims are far more likely to receive treatment quickly. Studies have shown that when AEDs are present, survival rates are almost five times greater (24%).

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small, portable and easy-to-use electronic device that assesses the heart of a person in cardiac arrest for a shockable rhythm. It guides the user to deliver a shock if necessary to allow the heart to return to a normal rhythm or perform CPR until professional help arrives. When CPR and an AED are administered within the first two minutes, the chance of survival increases dramatically.

Here are my top five reasons why you should consider investing in one for your workplace.

1. Having an AED can make the difference between life and death

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere and at any time.

When the heart stops beating, blood stops circulating. Brain death can begin in as little as three minutes.

The chance of survival increases significantly when immediate action is taken. The use of an AED combined with CPR may increase the likelihood of saving a person’s life by 75%or more.

2. Every worker is at risk

It’s important to recognize that everyone is vulnerable to encountering cardiac arrest.

Heart disease doesn’t discriminate; it can affect men, women and children of any age or background, and those who work in strenuous environments are especially susceptible for instance:

  • in the outdoors
  • in extreme hot or cold conditions, or
  • in physical labour.

Every one of your workers could be at risk for cardiac arrest.

1 in 12 (2.4 million) Canadians are diagnosed with heart disease. It is the second leading cause of death across the country. It’s estimated that 35,000 to 45,000 Canadians die of sudden cardiac arrest each year.

The risk of developing heart disease increases the older you are, and our workforce is aging.

3. Anyone can use an AED

Zoll aed parts
Modern AEDs are compact, lightweight and portable. These battery-operated systems are safe and easy to use.

Units like the Zoll Plus provide visual and audio instructions which guide a user through the entire resuscitation process.

The AED automatically analyzes the person’s heart rhythm and advises whether a shock is needed meaning that a shock can never be accidentally delivered.

Zoll AEDs also monitor CPR quality and provide feedback and guidance on chest compression depth and rate.

Almost anyone can use an AED. One study showed that untrained, sixth-grade children can correctly use an AED in as little as 90 seconds in comparison to paramedics who take an average of 60 seconds. Based on the AED’s instructions alone, the children performed the task with “no significant difference” from the trained professionals.

4. AEDs are more accessible than ever

AEDs have a proven track record of helping to save lives in the workplace and, with the recent increase in competition amongst suppliers, the price and accessibility of investing in one has never been better.

There are options available for every budget ranging from $1500 to $3000 which are based on user preferences and requirements.

AEDs have a proven track record of helping save lives in the workplace and, with the recent increase in competition amongst suppliers, the price and accessibility of investing in one has never been better.

There are options available for every budget ranging from $1500 to $3000 which are based on user preferences and requirements.

are you heart smart thumnail image, click to read infographic

5. They provide peace of mind

AEDs have become an expected addition to a safe work environment; they’re a good investment for everyone.

Having a unit on site ensures the wellness of your employees, customers and visitors.

Conclusion:

It’s more than an essential component of your workplace preparedness plan – it’s a tool all workers deserve to have access to.

We spend one third of our lives at work. Why not have a first response tool readily available on scene for all your employees? Like insurance, it’s better to be prepared and have nothing happen than face the worst and not be ready. Learn more about the AEDs Levitt-Safety offers.

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Jonathan McCallum

Market Segment Manager: Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene & Environmental Monitoring

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