Ehstoday 839 Riegel

It's No Shock: AED Training Can Save Lives

Feb. 6, 2012
A registered nurse is leading a nationwide effort to train citizens in the proper use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to help save thousands of lives.

An estimated 340,000 people die annually from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Barbara Riegel, DNSc, RN, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, urges everyday citizens to learn how to use life-saving AEDs to help prevent some of those deaths. You don't need to be in medical expert to get started, either: Riegel stressed that advances in AED technology allow anyone to safely use the device.

"Historically, only physicians were trained in and allowed to use defibrillators," she explained. "Now the technology has developed to the point that the machine reads the rhythm, so no one – not physicians, nurses, or lay people – needs to interpret the rhythm before using a defibrillator. These machines do it with excellent accuracy."

Riegel added that no matter what TV shows might lead us to believe, an AED will not "shock" the patient or disrupt the normal heart rhythm. When it comes to AEDs, there's nothing to fear – unless no one near the cardiac patient is trained to use one.

"People are no longer questioning whether laypersons can be trusted to use defibrillators; people now view AEDs in the same light at CPR," she said.

So the next time you watch an on-screen nurse or doctor shout "Clear!" while using an AED, remember that anyone can – and should – learn how to safely use the device. Even you.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Free Webinar: Mining & ESG: The Sustainability Mandate

March 28, 2024
Participants in this webinar will understand the business drivers and challenges of ESG and sustainability performance, the 5 steps of the ESG and sustainability cycle, and prioritized...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!