Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Life You Save

Yesterday I attended CPR/AED certification training. For those who might not recognize those particular initials, CPR stands for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, and AED stands for Automated Electronic Defibrillator. The AED is a machine that essentially tells you how to shock someone's heart back into rhythm. The machine will tell a person, step by step, what to do, from placing the pads to administering the shock. Some machines even remind you to move a couple of feet away from the victim so you don't accidentally get shocked. Pretty awesome. The American Heart Association recommends the use of AEDs because they work. They work best in combination with CPR, but even a kid can use the AED to help save a life. They can be used on children and adults.

CPR, in my opinion, is something that every single person should be trained to do. It can mean the difference between life or death in some cases, when seconds count. Since world-wide CPR training isn't going to happen anytime soon, everyone should know how to use an AED, because there are lots of public places that currently have AEDs on the premises. If you can't locate the AED in an establishment, ask an employee if they have one and the location. If the employees don't look at you strangely, chances are good that they have an AED.

If you are a parent, I would pay particular attention as to whether the schools your child attends have them. My school district has at least one in every school. The high school and the two middle schools have more than one, because they have athletic events. The PTA paid for some of our AEDs, and a state grant paid for the rest We even have one available for school board meetings, and given the current budget crisis, it might soon be put to use!

If your school does not have AEDs on campuses, start asking about them. It may not seem like it, but parents are often the people who can get things done. The school nurse should know something about them, and she would love to help. Parents can make the point that there are a lot of children these days who have health issues, and some of those issues have gone undiscovered. This especially applies to children with special needs, because health issues often accompany many conditions.

It is better to have them and not ever need them than to need an AED and not have it.

12 comments:

  1. As a former nurse, Amen! Weird but when I was at the ball game in spring I was looking for the AED's and where they were stored. Once a nurse, always a nurse.

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  2. Would you believe that not long ago a local school board president died of a heart attack after a heated debate at a school board meeting. I am embarrassed to admit that while I might think to look for the AEDs, I also hope like heck someone else knows what they are doing? I need to make training a new goal for myself, or better yet, put it on THE LIST!!!!!

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  3. If you can't locate the AED in an establishment, ask an employee if they have one and the location. If the employees don't look at you strangely, chances are good that they have an AED. Namenda

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