At Prodigy, safety and quality are our biggest priorities. On most occasions, that means operating our equipment properly and running a safe operation. But one day last winter, our team experienced a scare outside our safety protocol. Brett experienced an electric heart event (cardiac arrest) while working his usual routine as Engineering Manager. While not the same as a heart attack, this type of ‘heart event’ can be fatal.
Just months prior, owner Darrin Schmitt had decided to purchase an AED to be housed in the Prodigy shop at the suggestion of a local business owner and friend. This very device only weeks later saved Brett’s life. The Prodigy team was able to use the AED to revive him until paramedics arrived to care for Brett further.
According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. And Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur while victims are at work.
This incident hit so close to our Prodigy family. We are so glad that we were encouraged to purchase the device and want to urge others to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the office. Placing AEDs in the workplace, along with providing a proper management system and training for employees on how to use the devices, can mean the difference between life and death.
What is an AED?
An AED is a computerized medical device that analyzes a person’s heart rhythm, determines whether a shock is needed, and delivers a defibrillating shock if necessary. Due to advances in technology, AEDs have become widely available and are safer, lighter, more portable and easier to use than ever before.
Should You Invest in an AED in Your Workplace?
In a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, like the one mentioned above, time is of the essence. It takes an average of 8-12 minutes for first responders to arrive at the scene after 911 is called, which is why having an AED in the workplace could make the difference between life and death.
Where to Find AEDs in the Tri-State
Ensuring that your place of business has an AED can be done a couple of ways:
For a for-profit organization, getting an AED can be as simple as going online, finding a website that sells the device and placing an order; however, you need to make sure you research the manufacturer on the AED first to ensure it is a reliable model. AEDs require a prescription, so you may be required to get a prescription from an MD before you are able to purchase. It is also important to review your local and state laws to determine the requirements for equipping you place of business with an AED. Some common requirements for possessing an AED include documentation of monthly AED inspections, training records for your employees, maintenance or repairs performed, usage, and defibrillation pad and battery expiration dates.
If you are a local nonprofit organization, the best way to get an AED is to become a part of HeartSaver, a program of The Heart Hospital at Deaconess Gateway. HeartSaver’s mission is to reduce sudden death through placement of life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the Tri-State. AED Training through HeartSaver is free of charge.
HeartSaver AED Training Dates for 2018: