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Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) are becoming a common sight in most public places and within the workplace. If you have one fitted at your workplace, and if your staff have access to one should you provide training?

Automated External Defibrillators – Installation initiative

Organisations such as the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have driven an increase in the number of Automated External Defibrillator stations in public places and large workplaces. As the technology has been proven to save lives and Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) have come down in price, they have become an increasingly attractive option. As a result, many public access defibrillators have been placed in train stations, shopping centres, airports and leisure centres.

How do Automated External Defibrillators work?

According to the BHF, if someone suffers from a sudden cardiac arrest the chance of survival falls by about 10% for each minute that passes without fibrillation. Fibrillation means restoring the heart’s normal rythm – this is achieved by delivering a high energy targeted electric shock using the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Whilst there are many different types and manufacturer of the Automated External Defibrillator AED the fundamentals are the same. When the unit is switched on a voice will talk loudly telling you what to do with clear and simple instructions. Pads are stuck onto the casualty’s bare chest and the AED will receive information about the heartbeat which it then analyses to see if a shock can be delivered. If it can the AED will charge itself. No one must be touching the patient when the shock is delivered which typically happens at the press of a button.

The ambulance service has this equipment but it might be too late by the time they arrive. Survival rates increase significantly if someone on the scene is able to give CPR and successfully operate an AED.

How Automated External Defibrillator about training?

There’s certainly no requirement to train all staff who might find themselves in the vicinity of an AED during their working day.

However, there is a legal requirement for employers to provide training in the use of work equipment. Therefore, if you provide an AED, as opposed to to one simply being present in a public place nearby, you will need to arrange training.

This could be extra sessions bolted on to your First Aid Training courses but in most cases the 1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work and the 3 Day First Aid at Work training courses now include in the safe use of an Automated External Defibrillator in the course Syllabus.

Locate your nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
HeartSafe® AED Locator and Arrhythmia Alliance have set a target to invite any person, community, business, medical practitioner, sports facility, school etc to register their Automated External Defibrillators on this website. Any person wishing to know the whereabouts of an AED can simply enter the post code, and the nearest AED will be displayed on the map.