Cardiac arrest is a silent killer that affects nearly 33,000 Australians per year . Only 6-13% of these out of hospital cardiac arrest victims survive for more than a year after the event if defibrillation is delayed. What’s even more shocking is that children and young adults who play sport are at an even greater risk of suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.
The health and well-being of Australians should be a priority for Sporting Club Managers. They are responsible for giving their athletes, officials and supporters the best chance of survival in the event of a sudden tragedy. The chances of preventing a fatal emergency medical situation out on the sports field or in the stands can be drastically improved by installing an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and knowing it is part of your emergency response plan.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Statistics
Automatic external defibrillators give victims of sudden cardiac arrest the best chance of survival. Defibrillators make sure patients receive the immediate aid they need following a sudden cardiac arrest.
Current Australian sudden cardiac arrest statistics reveal that 59% of cardiac arrest patients in NSW alone are not able to be revived by the time the ambulance team arrives to examine the patient. Receiving early CPR will significantly increase a victim’s chance of survival, but defibrillation is the only thing that will restart the heart. So how do automatic defibrillators revive patients and how should they be used? Let’s take a look at some FAQs.
How do I use an AED?
AED units come with detailed instructions. Some units also offer audio and visual prompts that take you through the resuscitation process. In addition to this, organisations run face-to-face training programs to teach people how to use the unit. Defib For Life offers two industry-leading defibrillators, the Cardiac Science G5 AED and the ZOLL AED PLUS, both of which include training information to help spectators and first responders feel confident using them. Our AEDs are the best on the market, and are as automated as possible.
Will the AED hurt the patient?
AEDs are designed for patients who are unresponsive and not breathing. Modern AEDs must meet strict safety standards, and will only allow a shock to be given after assessing the electrical activity of the victim’s heart. It’s extremely unlikely that any harm will come to someone who has suffered a suspected sudden cardiac arrest.
Should I perform CPR before using the AED?
CPR supplies oxygen-rich blood to the victim’s brain and heart. It’s commonly thought that once this oxygen-rich blood circulates through the body, it makes the heart more responsive to defibrillation. Start CPR as soon as you confirm that the patient is unresponsive and not breathing. Place the electrode pads on the victim’s chest as directed and follow the prompts to know when to resume CPR.
Is it safe to use an AED unit on someone who has a pacemaker or a person who is pregnant?
Yes. You should never avoid using an AED on a person who’s suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. As the AED determines whether the victim’s heart is functioning abnormally, you can be confident that you won’t be delivering a shock to a normal, healthy heart.
Are there any special considerations for using AED units on children?
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use a defibrillator on a young child, first check for paediatric pads. Paediatric electrode pads deliver a lower charge to children who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest. If the unit doesn’t come with paediatric pads, check the guidelines before attempting to use the adult electrode pads. The Cardiac Science G5 AED and the ZOLL AED PLUS (available in the Defib For Life online store) both come with paediatric pads for sports clubs to eliminate any uncertainty, and adjust the delivered shock depending on the size of the victim.
What steps need to be taken after successfully defibrillation on the patient?
Patients who have been successfully resuscitated are still at risk of developing ventricular fibrillation. Leave the electrode pads on so the unit can continue to monitor the victim. Don’t remove the pads until emergency personnel arrive and assume responsibility for the patient.
What are the benefits of the Defib For Life recommended AEDs?
Our recommended AED units guide responders through critical rescue steps and save lives, making it easy for anyone to operate them even without training. These units come in dust and waterproof cases; perfect for use in the toughest environments. The Cardiac Science G5 meets strict military standards for drop, shock, and vibration testing. It’s compact in size and easy to carry to where it’s needed, whether it’s to the sports ground, oval, or recreational facility. Our units also come with wall mounts and usage posters to make them easy to access and operate, even in the most stressful circumstances.
Automatic external defibrillators are some of the best life-saving tools in the industry. Get rescue-ready by installing a defibrillator at your sports centre!