What are the American Heart Association recommendations for who should have an AED program?

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What are the American Heart Association recommendations for who should have an AED program?

The AHA is campaigning for all workplaces to implement a First Aid, CPR, and AED training program, along with public access to AEDs. According to the AHA, 50% of American employees are unable to locate the AED in their own work space. With 10,000 cardiac arrests in workplaces each year, it is worth changing that 50 to 100%. 

What are the common elements of an AED program?

There are 9 steps recommended by the AHA for implementing an AED program. They are as follows:

  1. Get medical oversight, the FDA may require a physician’s prescription to purchase an AED. The physician may be required to oversee use of the AED and make recommendation on training and/or policies and procedures. 
  2. Work with local EMS, most states require coordination between the physician or program coordinator with local EMS systems. 
  3. Choose an AED, the simpler and easier to use, the better. The AHA does not recommend one AED device over another. 
  4. Contact technical support, ensure you have tech support for when your AED requires it.
  5. Make sure program support is available; some AED manufacturers provide help with program implementation and ongoing support. 
  6. Place your AEDs in visible and accessible locations; effective use of an AED includes rendering a shock (when needed) within 3 minutes of a person collapsing. Keep this in mind when deciding how many AEDs you will need and where to place them.
  7. Develop a training plan. AED users should be CPR and AED certified. Code One Training Solutions offers a full range of American Heart Association CPR courses. 
  8. Raise awareness of the AED program, ensure all your employees are aware of the new program, encourage certification, use flyers, posters, and other means to promote the AED program.
  9. Implement an ongoing maintenance routine, it is imperative that weekly and monthly inspections are performed on each AED to ensure they are functioning properly. Create a checklist and designate an individual to ensure the completion of these inspections. 
The AHA’s list and further descriptions of these tasks can be found here.