how1e's blog

how1e's blog

Best first response: Putting the pieces together

A couple of heart-related local news stories came up the other day and I was struck again by the importance of AED’s and the factors that come into play in determining whether or not an SCA crisis has the best possible outcome. Usually it seems that most of life “out there in the big world” is beyond our control, but there are some crucial pieces of the emergency response puzzle that make a huge difference in life or death outcomes of SCA events. Working individually and with our communities, we can take concrete steps to improve survival rates for SCA right where we live!

A TRAINED FIRST RESPONDER

Should a lay bystander use CPR/AED?

I have been wondering lately about my legal liability when it comes to using CPR/AED. My career training included the requirement to become certified in First Aid and CPR, along with using an AED. So since I was trained it was assumed that I would start a rescue should an emergency arise in my workplace--and my employer would insure, protect, and defend me if there were any lawsuit against me as a result of my trying to save someone.
I am retired now and it isn’t always obvious what legal risk I as a bystander might be taking when trying to help any victim in need of immediate aid. My First Aid certification has expired and although I plan to get fresh info and training in using an AED, I still have questions about my standing if I’m ever put in the position of first responder to an SCA emergency. Here is what I have found out, according to the American Heart Association and other organizations focused on promoting CPR/AED.

Thinking about it—where’s an AED when you need one?

After suggesting in a recent post that being proactive is the way to go when it comes to locating an AED when you need one, I decided to start asking whenever I am in a public place if there is actually an AED present. This started in my local library, and I found that there was none in place here.

When I asked the librarian, I was told that the fire department is a half block away and that’s what they would probably rely on if there was an [SCA emergency]. That sounds good, but wouldn’t I rather know that there is an AED available to the public right here where there are parking lots, buildings, hiking paths, etc. with lots of traffic around—automobiles, joggers, pedestrians?

Let’s check in again with the Mayo Clinic:

Are you ready to save a life?

I'm new to the community, but wanted to share a short post/story I wrote designed to help people connect with the reality of saving a life in an SCA emergency. Thanks for the opportunity!

You’re somewhere, anywhere. In an elevator, on the sidewalk, at a sports event when the unthinkable happens--an apparently healthy stranger goes down. It might be a teen, an adult, or an older person, but down he or she goes and suddenly you are your brother’s keeper! If you don’t respond quickly, that person may die and leave you wondering if you could have done something to keep him alive.

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The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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