|| 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
guidelines for protection from bloodborne pathogens,
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.