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AEDs Inside Schools
What Is An AED?
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that is used to automatically diagnose life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and deliver therapy to the heart when necessary. It is used to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest - a leading cause of death in Canada. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating properly and blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. The AED will analyze the heart's electrical activity and determine if it needs defibrillation. If needed, it will deliver an electric shock to restart the heart's rhythm.
Current AED Requirements In Canadian Schools.
When it comes to AEDs in Canadian schools, it's important to note that there isn't a one-size-fits-all policy. In British Columbia and Ontario, legislation states that all public spaces must have at least one AED available for use by anyone who needs it during an emergency situation. There are no federal requirements for schools in other provinces in Canada to have an AED on site, but legislation in each province requires schools to have an emergency plan that includes information on how to respond to emergencies, this includes having an emergency plan for responding to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering purchasing or implementing AEDs in a school:
• Ensure the location of the AED is visible and accessible at all times;
• Have clear written instructions on how the AED works; and
• Ensure the device is properly cared for and maintained.
An AED is an invaluable tool that can significantly increase a person's chance of survival after suffering a cardiac arrest. With the right policies and procedures, your school can safely and effectively introduce an AED program that works for everyone.
Why Schools Need To Have AEDs
Schools need to have an AED onsite for the safety of students and staff in the event of cardiac arrest. Elementary and secondary schools can often be large buildings with multiple classrooms, hallways, offices, etc. Having an AED (or several!) on your campus that is accessible quickly can make the difference between life and death.
Advantages Of Having An AED In Schools
There are many advantages to having AEDs installed inside of schools!
- Provide Fast Access To Treatment For Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It causes the blood flow to stop and there is no blood flow to the brain or other organs. When this happens, every minute counts. AEDs can deliver an electric shock to stop a lethal rhythm (ventricular fibrillation) and restore normal heart function before EMS arrives on scene.
- Increase Public Awareness Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest And Stroke Prevention
AEDs are a unique way to increase public awareness about the importance of sudden cardiac arrest prevention and stroke prevention through early detection and treatment. With proper use of an AED in schools, students will learn how valuable they are in saving lives and how important it is for them to stay healthy.
- Decreases The Risk Of Death From Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Every minute without CPR or defibrillation decreases the chance of survival by 7-10%. AEDs are designed for use by members of the public, including those who have no medical training but can still perform potentially life-saving actions in an emergency situation.
There Is A Great Need For More AEDs In Canadian Schools!
The truth is that we never know when someone will suffer a sudden cardiac arrest – it could be during class time or at recess; it could happen at lunchtime or during an afternoon sporting event or even during a dance party after school! As educators and parents, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to prevent such tragedies from happening in our schools.
Schools should be equipped with AEDs so that students can receive the lifesaving treatment they need when they need it. AED Advantage has a variety of defibrillator units suited to fit small and large organizations alike, visit their website today to learn more.