Heart Attack Survival On The Job

Heart Attack Survival On The Job

OSHA encourages defibrillator use to revive workers with cardiac arrest. Using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) can save the lives of workers who experience cardiac arrest while on the job. OSHA encourages employers to consider making this equipment available in their workplaces.

IBT Safety is your source for AED’s from ZOLL, one of the world’s leading suppliers of this essential addition to an industrial location’s safety kit.

OSHA notes that AEDs are easy to use and can make the critical difference in reviving individuals who suffer a cardiac crisis. When administered within three minutes, the electric shock (defibrillation) restores the normal rhythm to the victim’s heart and can increase survival rates from less than 5 percent to nearly 75 percent. Immediate defibrillation can revive more than 90 percent of victims.

Jobs with shift work, high stress, and exposure to certain chemicals and electrical hazards increase the risks of heart disease and cardiac arrest.

AEDs are lightweight and run on rechargeable batteries. They are designed to analyze the heart rhythm and automatically indicate when to administer the shock. Unit costs range from $1,500.00 to $4,500.00.

Each year 300,000 to 400,000 individuals die from cardiac arrest. Most of these deaths occur outside hospitals. Cardiac arrest is often due to chaotic beating of the heart, which can be restored to normal rhythm if treated promptly with defibrillation. With each minute of delay in defibrillation, 10 percent fewer victims survive.

AEDs are easy to use. In mock cardiac arrest, untrained sixth-grade children were able to use AEDs without difficulty.



Heart of the Matter of Fact

What is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)?
Sudden cardiac arrest cases are usually due to abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias, the vast majority of which are ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is a condition in which the heart’s electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic, causing the heart to cease pumping blood effectively. Victims of SCA collapse and quickly lose consciousness, often without warning. Unless a normal heart rhythm is restored, death will follow within a matter of minutes.

The cause of sudden cardiac arrest is not well understood. Many victims have no history of heart disease, or if heart disease is present, it has not functionally impaired them. Unlike a heart attack, which is the death of muscle tissue from loss of blood supply, many victims of SCA have no prior symptoms. SCA can strike anyone, at any time, anywhere.

How common is SCA and who is at risk?
SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It strikes about 250,000 Americans each year: nearly one death every two minutes.

What is the current treatment for sudden cardiac arrest?
The cardiac chain of survival is the current treatment for sudden cardiac arrest.

What is the cardiac chain of survival?
The cardiac chain of survival is a series of four critical steps. All four steps of the chain must be present to help ensure survival from sudden cardiac arrest. The four steps are:

Step one: Early access to care (calling 911 or another emergency number)
Step two: Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Step three: Early defibrillation
Step four: Early advanced cardiac life support as needed

The third step, delivering an electrical shock to the heart, which is known as defibrillation, is recognized as the most critical step in restoring cardiac rhythm and resuscitating a victim of SCA.

What is an automated external defibrillator (AED)?
An AED is a device about the size of a laptop computer that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own.

How does an AED work?
An AED is easy to operate. It uses voice prompts to instruct the rescuer. Once the machine is turned on, the rescuer will be prompted to apply two electrodes provided with the AED to the victim’s chest. Once applied, the AED will begin to monitor the victim’s heart rhythm. If a “shockable” rhythm is detected, the machine will charge itself and instruct the rescuer to stand clear of the victim and to press the shock button.

If an AED is so easy to use, why do I need training?
Training is necessary in order to understand the role of defibrillation in the broader context of the cardiac chain of survival. Training in CPR and AED skills will enable the rescuer to use all the steps in the cardiac chain of survival, thereby significantly increasing the victim’s chance of survival.

How can I get trained in the use of an AED?
Training is widely available. IBT Safety offers it in connection with product sales. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross also offer training classes. Usually, the classes are half-day courses that include CPR and AED skills. In addition, there are comprehensive, daylong sessions that also include first aid. These interactive courses are taught by certified instructors and involve hands-on practice and other training aids and materials. Each participant receives a skills card for use during in-class practice sessions. The skills cards can also aid in retaining skills after completing the course and serves as a quick reference tool in an emergency.

Who can use an AED?
In most cases, EMTs and first responders (police and firefighters) are required to know how to use an AED as part of their job responsibilities. Furthermore, all 50 states now have AED Good Samaritan provisions that help protect laypersons. Contact your local or state emergency medical services (“EMS”) department to find out about Good Samaritan protections that your state provides for users of AEDs.

Where can I find AEDs?
AEDs can be found in corporate offices, shopping malls, airports, sports stadiums, schools, community centers, and other places where large groups of people gather and the risk of a sudden cardiac arrest incident is very likely. The number of devices in the community will continue to grow as more and more people begin to understand the importance of AEDs and AED training.

Can I buy an AED for my workplace?
According to FDA rules, a physician prescription is needed in order to purchase an AED. This means that the medical director of a facility or a physician used by such facility must prescribe and oversee the AED program at any workplace or other facility that houses an AED.

How much does an AED cost?
The cost of an AED varies by manufacturer and model. Currently, an average price for a single AED unit is about $3,000.00.

To learn more about AEDs and other health and safety products contact us at IBT.


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