The Call

This morning, I got a phone call; a phone call from an old friend of mine. He called to ask for 3 more AEDs. The reason the phone call was so special, however, is because three years ago I had sold him an AED. That AED saved a man’s life on one of their job sites. The man went down and they had the AED on hand and were able to save him.

That’s the call we like to get because all too often the call we get about purchasing one of more AEDs looks more like this: “I need an AED because someone on our job site collapsed and we didn’t have one on hand to save his life. By the time the paramedics got there it was too late.”

If you don’t have an AED on hand, you’re most likely going to be the kind of call we don’t like to get.


Learn more about the Zoll AED and why you need one on your jobsite.

Having an AED Isn’t Enough!

A good number of AED (Automated External Defibrillators) that inspect in the workplace might not work in case of emergency. It’s great to have an AED in the workplace but unless someone is maintaining and inspecting it on a regular basis, it might not actually work when you need it.


You need to assign someone to inspect that AED at least  once a month. Set up a calendar reminder on their computer so that they don’t forget.

Here is the AED inspection checklist:

  1. First thing to check is the battery. Most defibrillator have two batteries. One is the battery that actually powers the AED when you use it, administrating the shock. Most AED batteries have a 4-5 year life (check with your manufacturer) and should be replaced after that period regardless of whether or not it has ever been used. There should be an expiration date stamped on the battery. The other is usually a small 9 volt battery that your AED uses to do regular self-testing. There should be a small light that blinks on your AED letting you know if this battery needs to be replaced or not. Green means it’s still good, orange or red means it needs to be replaced.
  2. Second thing to check are the pads. AED pads have a 2-year expiration date. Again the date should be stamped on the package that the pads come in.
  3. Third is a quick visual inspection to make sure that there are no frayed wires, disconnected leads or obvious damage that might hinder the AED from working when needed.
  4. Finally, the accessories should also be checked and replaced as needed. Disposable gloves, for example, deteriorate rather rapidly and should be replaced every six months or so. Check also to make sure that the scissors, CPR barrier, etc… are all still there and replace as needed.

While it’s great that so many companies are finally getting the message and purchasing an AED for the workplace, it’s also important to put together an inspection schedule to make sure that AED can do what it was purchased to do if the time ever comes.

Need an AED? Check out the Zoll AED.

High School AED Saves 17-Year Old Student

17-year old Claire Crawford had no idea that she was going to die that day. She was just, like many other days, playing a volleyball game with her team mates at school when she collapsed. Fortunately for her the school had an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)and staff that was trained in CPR. The entire thing was captured on a home video, have a look:


What’s telling is the comment from her parents… “We wouldn’t let our child participate in a sport anywhere at this point if there wasn’t an AED machine accessible. Waiting until someone is gone is not a good time.

Cardiac Arrest can strike anyone at any time. Learn more about Cardiac Arrest and why an AED is necessary at any and all public events, especially sports events.

CAB not ABC for CPR

Continuous Chest Compression CPR is the new directive as dictated by the American Heart Association. Forget about trying to give them the “kiss of life” and just do the chest compression.

The latest findings report the Continuous Chest Compression CPR doubles the chance of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

Play this YouTube video for your employees next time you have a safety meeting:

While the old directive was ABC (Airways, Breathing, Compression) the new directive is now CAB (Chest compression, Airway, Breathing) with the A & B being essentially omitted for those who have no CPR certification.

The great thing about this is that CPR is now as simple as it can get.

When you see someone collapse, shake them to try to bring them around. If that doesn’t work start chest compressions to the beat of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees; it’s that simple.

External Defibrillator Improvement Initiative

AEDs, Automatic External Defibrillators, save countless lives each year. While there is little doubt about the effectiveness of AEDs or the need for AEDs in public places, including in the workplace, there have also been way too many problems. AED manufacturers have been plagued with recalls (68 recalls from Jan. 1, 2005 to July 10, 2010). According to the report…

“Many of the types of problems we have identified are preventable, correctable, and impact patient safety. As part of a comprehensive review the FDA identified several industry practices that have contributed to these persistent safety risks including industry practices for designing and manufacturing defibrillators, handling user complaints, conducting recalls and communicating with users. In some cases, these practices can contribute to device performance problems, place undue burden on users and put patients at risk.”

This new initiative includes the following three points:

  1. Promote innovation of next generation external defibrillators to improve safety and effectiveness.
  2. Enhance the ability of industry and the FDA to identify and respond to problems with devices to address potential safety risks more quickly and effectively.
  3. Designate an appropriate premarket regulatory pathway for AEDs that promotes best practices for design and testing.

You can check out the complete white paper put out by the FDA here. You can download a pdf of the white paper from that location as well.

Should other States follow Oregon on the AED mandate?

On January 1, 2010 a new Oregon law goes into effect mandating placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AED defibrillator) in “places of public assembly” throughout the state.
Under this law, virtually every public and commercial building of 50,000 square feet or more of floor space in the state is required to have at least one AED. The Bill affects most asset classes, including: retail, industrial, hospitality (including hotels) and residential building types. Schools and places of worship are exempted from the AED mandate.
” (quoted from “” here.)

So far, Oregon is blazing a new trail with respect to AEDs with the “broadest mandate for the placement of AEDs in the United States thus far“.

So here are a few questions I need answers to:

  1. Should other states follow suit? Why, why not?
  2. Should mandates include churches? Why, why not?
  3. Should there be a mandate concerning all public schools across the nations (so far, only 16 states mandate that AEDs be present in schools and athletic events)? Why, why not?
  4. Should it be left up to the individual states or should it be a federal mandate? Why, why not?

Seems to me that with a cardiac arrest survival rate of less than 5% and studies that show that we could save more than 50,000 lives every year with properly placed AEDs (think “3 minute rule” which states that a person walking at a moderately rapid pace should be able to get and bring the AED back to the victim within 3 minutes) and proper training (at least 10% of the workforce) this is a no-brainer.

Am I missing something here? It can’t be the cost as the price of AEDs has dropped considerably. They are now extremely affordable (most companies spend a whole lot more than that on coffee each year in order to make sure their employees are able to wake up properly in the morning).

Why is this taking so long to mandate? Seems to me that the longer we delay the more lives are lost.

Kudos to Oregon for leading the way.

Click here to view our selection of AEDs

Public Access Defibrillation Doubles Survival

A new study, reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, concludes that PAD (Public Access Defibrillation) doubles the chances of survival.

The results (viewable on the abstract on their website here) show…

Of 13,769 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 4,403 (32.0%) received
bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation but had no AED applied
before EMS arrival, and 289 (2.1%) had an AED applied before
EMS arrival. The AED was applied by health care workers (32%),
lay volunteers (35%), police (26%), or unknown (7%). Overall
survival to hospital discharge was 7%. Survival was 9% (382
of 4,403) with bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation but no
AED, 24% (69 of 289) with AED application, and 38% (64 of 170)
with AED shock delivered. In multivariable analyses adjusting
for: 1) age and sex; 2) bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation
performed; 3) location of arrest (public or private); 4) EMS
response interval; 5) arrest witnessed; 6) initial shockable
or not shockable rhythm; and 7) study site, AED application
was associated with greater likelihood of survival (odds ratio:
1.75; 95% confidence interval: 1.23 to 2.50; p < 0.002).
Extrapolating this greater survival from the ROC EMS population
base (21 million) to the population of the U.S. and Canada (330
million), AED application by bystanders seems to save 474 lives/year.

Conclusions: Application of an AED in communities is associated with nearly
a doubling of survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
These results reinforce the importance of strategically expanding
community-based AED programs.”

With the cost of AEDs dropping, there doesn’t seem to be any excuse left for not having one available in all public locations (airports, churches, malls, gyms, schools, etc…)

Today’s AEDs walk you through (there’s literally a voice that talks to you) what to do and how to do it. They tell you if there’s a problem and whether or not defibrillation is necessary (they will not allow defibrillation if the heart is not in fibrillation so you can’t accidentally shock someone) and some even let you know if you compressions aren’t strong or deep enough. See our choice of defibrillators on our website at



Staying Alive to “Staying Alive”

Stumble It! Digg! Add to Mixx! Pownce

Someone at your workplace goes down in a flash. You can’t get a pulse. Congestive heart failure!

What to do?

Obviously you call 911 and run to grab the defibrillator. You turn it on, apply the pads and the AED determines that a shock is advised. The shock is administered and then the defibrillator tells you to administer CPR. Depending on the AED you have, you might then get only a countdown telling you how much longer to administer CPR.

Medical guidelines tell you to administer 100 compressions per minute. That’s a lot more compressions than you might think. Most people who administer CPR do a lot less.

A new study by the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, Ill has come up with a catchy way to help you get the right number; catchy in more ways than one.

Turns out that the song “Staying alive” by the Bee Gees has exactly 103 beats per minute which would put you right in the correct range. Fortunately it’s a catchy tune that you can’t get out of your head once it’s in there. It’s also catchy in the sense of being an easy song title to remember, seeing the circumstances.

Still need more help? Download the mp3 onto your cell phone.

A new look at CPR, chest compression with minimal interruptions

Stumble It! Digg! Add to Mixx! Pownce

After many, many years of being taught CPR the same way, the American Heart Association (AHA) is now changing it recommendations concerning CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).

“Bystanders who witness the sudden collapse of an adult should activate the emergency medical services (EMS) system and provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim’s chest, with minimal interruptions.”


In other words concentrate on the chest compressions and don’t worry about the breathing; hands only CPR works just as well as or better than traditional CPR that includes mouth to mouth. At issue is the fact that the primary concern for unconscious patients is the blood flow to the brain. Brain cells begin to die in less than 5 minutes without oxygen and irreversible brain damage occurs in less than 10 minutes. Any interruption of the chest compression is an interruption of the blood to the brain and with it an oxygen deficiency.

Those properly trained in CPR are being told to switch to a 30 to 2 ratio rather than the old 15 to 2 (15 chest compressions for every 2 breaths) in order to ensure that the blood that’s being kept flowing into the brain isn’t oxygen starved. For the general, untrained public, however, the new recommendation is for chest compression only.


Check out the youtube video at:


Access the AHA document here.


CPR is recommended in conjunction with an AED in case of sudden cardiac arrest.