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Determine Deployment Criteria

Develop a Plan

Program Implementation

Ongoing Program Management
  Automated External Defibrillation > Develop a Plan

  Conducting site assessments is the first step in developing an AED implementation plan. Site assessments conducted by the program manager should include a walk through every facility to determine how many AEDs are needed for effective coverage, where the AEDs should be located, and how many trained workplace responders are needed.

According to the American Heart Association, from the time a victim "drops" from sudden cardiac arrest to the time a workplace responder delivers a "shock," every minute that passes reduces the victim's chance of survival by 7 to 10 percent. Research shows an effective AED program with a three-minute "drop-to-shock" time will save the lives of three out of four sudden cardiac arrest victims.

The number of AEDs needed in each facility should be based upon the three-minute "drop-to-shock" rule: Wherever an employee may be when he or she suffers sudden cardiac arrest, a workplace responder team can retrieve the AED and emergency medical supplies, get to the victim, and deliver a life-saving shock, if necessary, within three minutes.

The effectiveness of the AED program also will depend on the people who make up the workplace responder teams. Don't expect casual bystanders to respond effectively and safely in an emergency situation. Recruiting workplace responder teams and training them is truly what separates life-saving AED programs from those that simply place a unit on a wall and hope for the best.

Recruiting workplace responder teams and training them is truly what separates life-saving AED programs from those that simply place a unit on a wall and hope for the best.

In addition to site assessments, the AED implementation plan should address medical direction and medical protocols. Medical direction includes obtaining prescriptions for AEDs, which are FDA-controlled devices, from a physician who is licensed in the state where the AED will be located, when necessary it may include securing medical oversight for the program to meet state laws. Ultimately, it is the program manager's responsibility for understanding all state and local laws, securing physicians to write prescriptions and provide oversight in states where it is necessary, and for monitoring changes in state and local laws.

Medical protocols are administrative guidelines and response steps for managing a workplace emergency. An AED protocol should be established and incorporated into other emergency and medical protocols. An AED protocol may include the following:

  • the defined responsibilities of each member of a workplace response team,
  • guidelines for protection from bloodborne pathogens,
  • guidelines for post-incident data downloading.

All of the protocols the program manager develops should be documented in a booklet or flier and incorporated into workplace responder training.

 

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