Implementing Workstation Automated External Defibrillators

More than 50% of cardiac arrest cases occur outside a hospital. And it could be anywhere; at home, on the road, at work, anywhere.

That explains why employers must take precaution in their workplace and prepare to act fast in case of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)?

Well, we all know that the recommended first aid for any SCA victim is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, popularly known as CPR.

But how many staffs in your workstations have the necessary skills to issue CPR to a colleague? Maybe one or two employees with CPR training; in the worst cases, we have no one with knowledge about resuscitation.

Many employers forget to implement such training programs or onboard staff with exceptional basic lifesaving skillsets.

So you mull over your options and think; maybe if you had AEDs (automated external defibrillators) around the environment and more CPR-certified employees then you would be ready to handle SCA cases.

And then you can introduce a CPR training program or challenge your workers to earn the certification.

This article will discuss AEDs at large; their significance in the workplace, workstations that need these gadgets and how to choose the right one for your staff.

AEDs and How to Use One

These automatic external defibrillators are used to reestablish a normal heart rhythm. It functions by sending an appropriate electric shock to the heart. This helps to treat or prevent arrhythmia when the heart is beating either quickly or slowly.

The shock is generated by a battery within the machine. It is transmitted to the heart through specific electrodes that are placed on the victim’s chest.  This way, the machine can interpret the heartbeat and send an appropriate feedback impulse that can help stop the cardiac arrest.

There are various variants of defibrillators that are used in different medical conditions. These devices are often found in public places such as malls and offices. They were invented to help save a person suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest.

The portable defibrillators come with instructions on how they can be used to save a life. An untrained worker can be able to use this machine without prior proper experience. This is because it comes with a straight-to-the-point user manual on how to operate it.

These automated external defibrillators can be used on people of almost all ages. But before you use this tool, confirm if it is a cardiac arrest emergency by checking for the right signs

Here’s how to use an AED:

Quickly locate the AED device and go through the instructions on how to operate it carefully. The device should include instructions on how to deliver the electrical charge. You may also be requested to provide more than one shock, depending on the situation.

The AED manufacturer may advise you to apply immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation after using it. Make sure you are ready and prepared to conduct CPR. When the emergency service providers arrive, ensure you notify them that you used an automated external defibrillator on the victim.

In case you face any difficulties using an automated external defibrillator, you can seek assistance from a colleague.

If the device malfunctions or results in an injury, you can file a complaint at the Food and Drug Administration’s Official website.

Workstations that Need AEDs

Work Offices: OSHA, the body that supervises staff wellbeing says over 10K cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur in workplaces every year. But despite this scary figure, there’s no provision in the law books than makes it mandatory for employers to provide AEDs in offices.

Yet based on past experiences, AEDs have saved lives in offices. Providing them in workplaces can help sustain sudden cardiac arrest victims before trained medics arrive, and increase survival chances a great deal.

Academic Centers: In the US, less than half (only 17 of all 50) states require school admins to add AEDs in academic institutions.

More states should make it a requirement given over 6900 children succumb to cardiac arrest every year, more so if you consider that an AED intervention within 3 minutes of a collapse  can boost up survival chances to 72 percent.

No wonder schools should have AEDs and instructors should undergo basic life support training.

Gyms and Sports hubs: Though anyone can be an SCA victim regardless of their age, sex, weight and health status, sportspeople are at a higher risk (three times)of cardiac arrest while training in gyms.

An arrest happens when an individual’s heart deviates from its normal flow, also known as ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is when the two lower chambers are derived from normal flow action.

This deteriorates the blood supply mechanism of the heart. Blood transfer to vital organ systems is affected and, in certain instances, it may halt completely.

Ventricular fibrillation can be triggered by many reasons such as a blow or kick to the chest and exertion of excessive pressure during exercise. If the affected is not defibrillated in five minutes the outcome may be fatal.

Communal Transport: US citizens use some form of public means of transport over 30 million times every weekday. With this high figure, it means we can save many American lives if we had AEDs installed in public transport vehicles, trains or airplanes

Public transport operators can make changes to keep their staff and passengers safer by having AEDs readily available.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at anytime. And when it happens, an AED accompanied by quality CPR is the best way to save a life.

Assessing AED Risks: Everything You Should Know

There is a list of factors to consider when you choose to provide Automatic External Defibrillators to your workstation.

The right implementation accompanied by continuous management and practice can help save more lives.

Discover the three things to do before implementing an AED program.

Analyze your needs: Analyzing your workstation upfront can help you learn the dangers of SCA. Look at indicators like the age of your staff and other factors such as the level of physical activity.

You will need AEDs if you work with an aging workforce and organizational processes involve a lot of physical work.

In most cases, a worker is well-placed to respond in 3 to 5 minutes than a trained expert who may arrive late. That explains why automated external defibrillators should be made available and staff should undergo CPR training.

Combining AED and CPR within the 5-minute window increases the survival chances by up to 75 percent from 5 percent.

Determine the location: Nearly half of working US citizen can’t tell where an AED is stored at their workstation. Where you place and install your AEDs determines whether it will help save lives or not.

Remember, the survival chances go down by 10 percent with every minute that follows the sudden cardiac arrest.

That’s why you need to place these gadgets in accessible positions and inform all employees about their whereabouts.

When choosing where to place your AED, remember to consider its safety; it must be protected from burglary, interference, and damage, but it should never be store far away in a closed cupboard.

When storing also consider your surroundings; if your area experiences cold and wet conditions then it may not be a good idea to place it out-of-doors. If you do, make sure to protect your automated external defibrillators from moisture and dust.

Also, consider disabled staff when placing your AEDs. Make sure everybody has access to these life-saving gadgets. Display this equipment prominently, if possible pair it with your first aid box and fire-fighting equipment.

Training: Having these tools around is not any use if you do not have staff trained in setting up AEDs and responding swiftly to sudden cardiac arrest.

Issuing training from time to time, updating your employees on changes and reminding staff on the importance of these life-rescuing skill sets can ensure you get the most out of your equipment.

You also want to insist on strict adherence to the manufacturer’s guidelines when using AEDs to ensure the best results.

Create an organizational campaign showing the dangers of SCA and insisting on a 3-5 minute response. Use all sorts of communication and awareness creators to develop a culture that cares about worker safety.

All newbies must be informed about the safety initiative and trained to fit in.

Lastly, you must ensure regular checkups and maintenance of your devices.

Business and Personal Liability: Different US states have their provisions for the Good Samaritan law, and most feature some additional stipulations for AED users and owners.

These laws are meant to minimize the indecision in passersby or untrained rescuers who can help an SCA victim but fear rubbing shoulders with the law for trying to assist. That’s why it’s important to familiarize with the stipulations of your state.

While, we can’t completely do away with the dangers of trying to rescue a sudden cardiac arrest victim, you can always minimize their occurrence by assessing the risks correctly.

Remember, all automated external defibrillators must feature a prescription to be in compliance with Food & Drug Administration rules.

Another way to make your program more effective is to partner with nearby emergency service providers and have them come in to discuss safe use and implementation of AEDs in a workplace.

What to Consider When Buying AEDs

After assessing your risks, you want to narrow down to the best AEDs to use in your workplace.

But how do you choose when there are lots of vendors out there each claiming to offer the best AED deal?


Here are some things to consider when buying AEDs for your staff.

Because you need tools to save lives, ease of use is of the essence when it comes to buying AEDs.

Remember, your staff will be using these devices for months or years. Picking a tool that is complicated may compromise the life-saving capabilities of a responder or bystander.

If possible, go for devices that offer audio and voice assistance during use to improve effectiveness and reduce confusion.

Look at a device’s physical build to see if the design can pose challenges to a user. Seek reviews from previous users on the friendliness of a device.

Easy to use equipment is also easier to familiarize with, which means you will have an easy time training staff on operating new automated external defibrillators.

Battery, Pad and Electrode life

Many AEDs fail to perform because of malfunctioning cells, pads and electrodes. Because these are the three most problematic parts of an AED, you want to make sure you gather facts about the lifespan and durability of these parts.

Compare the quality of these three across different vendors to end up with a device that will maintain its effectiveness for a long time.

The best service providers sell AEDs with accessory backups or replacements for such vulnerable parts and give clear instructions on how and when to change these.

State AED Laws.

Remember to inquire about AED rules in your state.

These laws vary from one state to the next. While some may require strictmedical expert prescription and supervision to buy and use an AED, others do not require any permission from a physician

4. Check-up and Maintenance.

The best vendor offer check up and maintenance services. Most of them usually conduct per week or per month scrutiny and maintenance. They come to your premise and inspect the tools for any hitches in functionality from time to time. 

If they do not offer check and maintenance services then they should offer instructions on the main parts or functions to inspect and maintain so that your tool remains effective.

Ask for any battery/cell backups or pad replacements and how often you should do the changes. Ask about the electrodes, question how long they take to expire and inquire if they provide any backups for these as well.

AEDs are sensitive when it comes to maintenance because a life is stake if it malfunctions when it is needed.

Because an AED is a medical device that is still under improvement, a vendor that cares about your equipment even long after you’ve purchased it can easily update your old AED by installing new software updates.


All legitimate AEDs have a Food & Drug Administration approval. Anything that is not approved by the FDA may not be safe to use or has not been tested for safety and functionality.

Make sure you are buying from a well known AED provider who adheres to all FDA and state stipulations so that you provide your employees with the best equipment.

Compliance is also important because you don’t want to take liability in a court of law for partnering with an illegal dealer and endangering or contributing to the death of a SCA victim whom would have otherwise been rescued.

Why AED Maintenanceis a Must-do

Because cardiac arrests occur without a warning, it is best if such scenarios find us ready to respond.

Being ready means you know what to do and all your equipment, such as an AED gadget, is good to go.

But machines and equipment need maintenance. Only that way can you be sure they will not fail you when you need them most.

Rescuing a life is a time-sensitive, action-packed scenario that can cause anxiety, add to a malfunctioning device and the life-saver can get frustrated in their attempts to resuscitate a SCA victim.

AEDs malfunctions have led to loss of lives in the past

Over 1000 sudden cardiac arrest victims have died because of AED malfunction, which explains why you must be proactive about maintenance.

AED Battery failure has led to the loss of ¼ of these malfunctions.

Pads malfunctions and connector failures have also led to malfunctioning AEDs and hindered responders from saving lives.

The lifetime of these two AED accessories (cells and pads) usually vary by maker and type of device, with many lasting two to five years.

The best way to avoid such malfunctions is to partner with a provider that offers expiry notifications to ensure you always stay safe.

For an automated external defibrillator to revive a SCA victim, it must be able to send the right shock.

Here’s everything to check for in an AED.

  • Its working condition and ability to function effectively during SCA.
  • Its present self-test status
  • When to change pads and cells for every device
  • When your response team need skill update

Maintenance gets you ready to save lives and reduces SCA deaths caused by malfunctioning Automated External Defibrillators.

Myths about AEDs

Automated External Defibrillators are high-end life-saving devices that(at times) can be nerve-racking for bystanders and scary to use in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

But its complicated build does not always mean that they are difficult to use. It’s quite the reverse; the gadgets are engineered with bystander user-friendliness in mind considering that they are most likely to be used by untrained life savers or people with little resuscitation knowledge.

Below are popular misconceptions about these life-rescuers and the facts behind them to help you save a life without any fear:

1. You can harm or take someone’s life with an AED: Most automated external defibrillators are regulated and tried medical gadgets. The Food & Drug Administration must scrutinize all features to confirm if a product is safe for public use.

Forget TV drama where people electrocute others with AEDs; these devices analyze the cardiac rhythm of anyone they come into contact with and won’t deliver a shock to an individual with a normal rhythm.

2. We don’t need AEDs in places dominated by the youthful and healthy individuals: Though there are some risk factors like age and weight that predisposes people to cardiac arrest, SCA is triggered by an irregular pulsation in the heart and can occur to anyone from kids to sportspeople.

3.  Only Medics can use AEDs:Though cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED training is useful for everybody, one doesn’t need to be a trained medic to use an AED effectively.

The best equipment feature audio and voice assistance to helpusers throughout the resuscitation process. They are designed to assist users because are meant for bystanders.

4. AED scan cause convulsions in SCA victims: These devices actually deliver a single shock to restore the heart to its normal activity. One may shake upon administering a shock but it does not amount to convulsions as movies mislead us.

5. You can only use an AED once: based on many factors, these devices can issue up to hundreds of shocks if properly maintained.

6. You don’t need Automated External Defibrillators when you have an internal response team:  AEDs play a critical role in a SCA victim’s life because time is of the essence when it comes to rescuing such patients.

They work hand in hand with the best quality CPR to revive a cardiac arrest victim. That’s why you need to provide your response team with these tools to help ease the process of saving a patient before the situation turns fatal.

7. You can get a shock from AED when using it: As we’d mentioned earlier, these devices will only release a corrective shock once they detect an irregular impulse which means a user is at no risk of a shock or electrocution.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully this guide answered all your questions concerning implementing Automated External Defibrillators at enterprise level. With proper maintenance and adequate training, these life-saving devices can be excellent ways to intervene in cardiac arrest scenarios.

Make sure you chose an AED vendor that cares about the wellbeing of your equipment even long after the sale.

Your equipment provider should offer after-sale services such as maintenance, expiry-date notifications, and some form of basic training.

These services are important to AED users because you want to have a life-saving device that functions effectively during an emergency.