What is an AED, and why do you need one?
Each year, more than 300,000 people in the United States suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Unlike a heart attack, which results from a blockage in the arteries that send blood to the heart, SCA occurs when the heart has an electrical problem. In other words, the heart is active, but its beating is irregular or chaotic. The longer a person is in this state of cardiac arrest, the lower their chance is of surviving the episode. One of the most effective ways to help someone in SCA is with an automated external defibrillator or AED.
An AED is a portable device used in emergency medical situations for a person in a state of SCA. AEDs are always found in first responders’ vehicles, like ambulances and fire trucks. However, they are also available for public use and are becoming standard in more and more public places, especially those that attract large crowds. Your local shopping mall, concert venue, convention center, sporting arena, and even your neighborhood grocery store probably have an AED on hand in case someone goes into an SCA episode.
An alarming characteristic of SCA is that it can be caused by a number of factors—heart disease, respiratory arrest, choking, drowning, trauma, or electrocution, among others—so anyone can suffer SCA, regardless of how healthy they are. For that reason, emergency preparedness is critical. When AEDs are readily accessible, bystanders can spring into action to help.
How does an AED work?
An AED is a vital component of keeping customers, visitors, and members of your organization safe. The AED performs a quick reading of the heart’s electrical function and determines whether a shock is needed to correct the person’s heartbeat (this corrective process is called defibrillation). The AED then walks the user through a series of clear audio and/or visual prompts, guiding them through the steps needed to administer the shock. The shock delivered by an AED may stop the irregular beat and allow a normal rhythm to return.
Of course, calling 9-1-1 and starting CPR are the first steps for a person in suspected cardiac arrest. However, according to the American Red Cross, the average response time for first responders is somewhere between 8 and 12 minutes. Brain death can begin as soon as 4 minutes after an SCA episode starts. For every minute that passes while a person is in SCA, the odds of survival decrease by roughly 10%. Therefore, a person in SCA usually needs intervention before first responders even arrive. Having access to an AED and, ideally, having people on hand who can use it, is essential.
Quick-thinking bystanders have been able to save lives using AEDs, and time is of the essence when someone goes into a state of sudden cardiac arrest. Can your business or organization afford not to have one on hand?
Obtaining an AED for your business or organization
KMS Medical has been in business for nearly a decade. We provide customers with AEDs and can train members of your organization on their use. We also offer additional CPR training and certification to ensure that our customers are prepared in the event of an emergency. Despite our extremely competitive prices, we realize that the cost of an AED might be beyond reach for certain groups who really need to have one on hand. If you are searching for ways to help fund an AED for your church or non-profit organization, we encourage you to check out our AED Grants Guide.
Although AEDs are sophisticated in design and capability, they can be used by nonmedical personnel. However, we recommend training for employees or key personnel at your organization so that you can act fast to save lives. Our expert trainers can come to your facility to offer certification courses for AEDs and CPR in both children and adults. Please visit our CPR training and certification page to learn more.
Many customers worry about liability when purchasing a medical device such as an AED, especially because they must be prominently displayed where people can easily access them (for example, near a main doorway or other major thoroughfares). Although laws vary, most states allow “good faith” protection for laypersons who use an AED without training. Simply put, this is a Good Samaritan law that means that a bystander who voluntarily steps in to help someone in emergent need—for example, a person who has suffered an SCA—is protected from liability in the event that the person in SCA does not survive or is injured further (within reason).
Most AEDs are simple enough to use that most people can operate them without too much trouble. However, it is a good idea to ensure that members of your organization are familiar with their function and are able to use them confidently in the event of an emergency. If you have a large staff or a high-occupancy venue, we urge you to check out the group training rates on our CPR training and certification page. Increasing the number of team members who can use the AED increases the likelihood that someone on hand will be able to confidently step in if someone experiences SCA.
Why KMS Medical?
Buying an AED can be a complicated and stressful process because let’s face it—having an AED on hand could mean the difference between life and death. At KMS Medical, we take the time to listen to your needs, concerns, budget, and expectations and then offer an honest recommendation for the product or service that we believe will best meet your needs.
When you contact us at KMS Medical, you will work one-on-one with a friendly, knowledgeable representative. This team member will make sure that you order the right product for your business or organization. Our selection of products is extensive, and our representatives will help you navigate through the buying process, making helpful suggestions along the way. We also urge you to check out testimonials from satisfied KMS Medical customers.
We can also point you in the right direction if you know that you need an AED but are having trouble affording it. For example, grant money for AED support goes unclaimed each year. Our AED Grants Guide gives some basic information on AED grants and can help you find out whether your organization qualifies for grant support.
Meet Kevin Smith, the owner of KMS Medical. Kevin’s background as a nurse and as an EMT has led him to see firsthand that AEDs save lives. He is dedicated to working tirelessly with KMS Medical customers. He is devoted to helping businesses and organizations obtain the lifesaving equipment they need in the event of an emergency, one AED at a time. If you are interested in learning more or would like a member of our team to contact you personally, please contact us by calling 888.959.1194 or by completing an online contact form, and a KMS Medical representative will be glad to assist you.