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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.

One year SCA Survivor

August 20, 2017 marked the first anniversary of my rebirth! It was exactly a year ago to that date that a SCA changed my life forever. That Friday was a particularly normal Friday, like most Fridays in my life.
I had gone to work all day, went out to eat dinner with some friends, and then went home to bed. It was like I said, a normal Friday. No abnormal symptoms, nothing out of the ordinary. I prepared for bed at around 11:00 pm. I drifted off to sleep and never woke up....

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.

The Plight Of Carrie Fisher-Agonaly speaking

Many news stories about the death of Carrie Fisher on an airplane flight from London to Los Angeles. As so many times the media used the term "heart attack" to describe her incident. As those in the world of resuscitation know this was not a heart attack but a cardiac arrest episode. It is crucial to get people (especially the media) aware that these two cardiac emergencies bear no relation to one another.

A Heart Attack is a "plumbing" problem with the heart resulting in a portion of the heart incurring damage which is permanent. Unlike other muscles in the human body the heart does not regenerate tissue. The heart attack victim, by definition, is breathing.

Traveled with AED

Since my last post, my family member has successfully taken his AED on a commercial flight. He was not allowed to bring the device in to the cabin, but had to bring the lithium ion battery in his carry on. Therefore he needed to run back to the airline desk and have his luggage pulled out and get the AED into his checked luggage. This held him up quite a bit at TSA, so plan ahead and arrive early. I believe that these rules are administered differently at different airports, as I was even advised when researching in advance that "it would depend on the TSA officer on duty." Hopefully someone will be able to get clear advice on this, but for now I would advise: check the device and carry the battery.

AED while traveling

My family member needs to bring his AED with him on a trip. Does anyone have experience taking an AED on a commercial domestic (USA) flight? It seems the rules are changing all the time. Calls to TSA and to the airline as well as to the website which sells the devices are not getting me an answer. First: can one bring their own personal AED on a commercial airline and Second: What is the proper method. Checked? Carry on? I would appreciate any help you can offer

You can save a life!

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A reminder on AED Maintenance

I recently came across this story--http://globalnews.ca/news/3613170/winnipeg-woman-speaks-out-after-husbands-heart-stops-aed-malfunctions/ the ran through details regarding an SCA event that took place in just the last week or two.

Essentially, an off-duty fireman spending time with his family and some colleagues of his was hit with an attack that dropped him immediately. While he couldn't have really asked for better company to face such an event in his life (after all, how many are "lucky"--and I use the word loosely--enough to have a cardiac event in the presence of trained EMT's?), not everything went as smooth as possible in this type of emergency. Namely, the AED at the family entertainment spot where he was visiting wasn't working despite being present. Obviously, a non-working unit is no better than not having one at all.

Improvements to Public Awareness of CPR

Many reading this site instruct others in CPR at varying levels. Whether Community based or professional level. Some may teach Red Cross,National Safety Council, ASHI or AHA. I myself oversee an AHA Training Center, HealthSav LLC based in New York about 25 miles North of NYC in Rockland County. Our TC yearly trains several thousand people, mostly for certification courses but I myself also try to grow Family & Friends and Hands Only Training.

What the training community needs to focus on is that no matter how good our training can be, the individual being trained can only be trained the day that they attend the course. The retention level of CPR Training is exceedingly low. This is true for nurses, EMT's, Paramedics. Whomever you can name. This is also true for most Instructors as instructors are only required to teach 4 courses in a 2 year period to retain their instructor credentials. Quality control is an issue for both students and instructors.

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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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