What is the purpose of doing CPR?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (or CPR) is used by health and safety professionals, as well as the general public, to assist a victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). If done properly, it pumps blood (containing oxygen) throughout the body. Essentially, it keeps the body (and especially the brain) alive for a short period of time — hopefully until more advanced care can be provided to attempt to revive the person.
Although not completely impossible to revive a victim of SCA with CPR alone, without an automated external defibrillator, there is little hope for survival.
What is the purpose of using an AED?
An automated external defibrillator (or AED) is a simple-to-use machine that provides the shock that’s needed to revive a victim of SCA. It certainly doesn’t work in every case, but it does give the victim the best possible chance of survival. It analyzes the existing electrical activity remaining in the heart. If it detects what’s called a “shockable rhythm,” it will provide the shock necessary to convert the heart back to a “normal” rhythm. Watch this video from the American Red Cross: “The Heart’s Electrical System.”
In order for an AED to give a victim a chance of survival, it must be used very soon after going into cardiac arrest. In fact, for every minute that a person is in cardiac arrest without defibrillation, the victim’s chance of survival drops about 10%. That’s 10% per minute! So, to save more lives, defibrillators must be “staged” throughout the community: in airports, theaters, shopping malls, office buildings, as well as in all emergency vehicles. While still fairly expensive, they cost only about a third of what they did not too many years ago.
So, if we’re really committed to saving more lives, we need to have more AEDs available to us — both professionals and average citizens — at a moment’s notice. And we need to have more people trained to use them.
Hands-on training is the best way to be prepared for the unexpected emergency situation. Because of this, at CPR-Twin Cities, we offer AED training and certification at no extra charge with every one of our CPR classes.
One of the great things about AEDs is that they are extremely easy to use. Extremely easy! So sign up for training today.
What do AEDs look like and how do they operate?
There are a wide variety of AED manufacturers and AED models on the market. Watch AED video demonstrations of how simple it is to operate an AED.