First Aid & Defibrillator Use
8 March 2018
Being competent Health and Safety professionals we regularly review our own health and safety provisions within the business. Part of this is regular retraining in First Aid for our staff with The First Aid Guy; this is to ensure they have adequate training, knowledge and expertise should there be an emergency at our site.
Many of you will already know that, dependant on the size of your organisation, there must be at least one appointed First Aider in your business. This is, in fact, a requirement for insurance purposes and if you don't know who your first aider is or where the location of the first aid kit is and, potentially, the location of the nearest defibrillator then you will need to make sure this information is widely available to your staff.
If you put things into context, within our working environment at Ai Solutions, the chances are low that we would ever need to utilise these skills. However, we have visitors and staff to consider and our Health and Safety Policy states the requirements for First Aid - and rightly so! Of course we do visit customer sites, travel and go to various events so the knowledge and skills we have gained can always be put to good use.
Current First Aid courses require providers to include automated external defibrillator training and interestingly use of these devices was not something we had been exposed to before so we wanted to make our readers aware of the latest requirements. Wikipedia defines "Defibrillation as a treatment for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias, specifically ventricular fibrillation (VF) and non-perfusing ventricular tachycardia (VT). A defibrillator delivers a dose of electric current (often called a counter shock) to the heart".
Simply put defibrillation is a lifesaving step in the chain of survival, increasing the patients' chance of survival. Often referred to as AED's, Automated External Defibrillators are very reliable and will not allow a shock to be given unless it is needed. They are, therefore, extremely unlikely to do any harm to a person who has collapsed. They are also safe and present minimal risk of a rescuer receiving a shock. AEDs require hardly any routine maintenance or servicing; most perform daily self-checks and display a warning if they need attention. Most AEDs currently offered for sale have a minimum life-expectancy of ten years. The batteries and pads have a long shelf-life, allowing the AED to be left unattended for long intervals. These features of AEDs make them suitable for use by members of the public with little or no training.
Our recommendation is that you find out the location of any AED's in your area, this could be in the business premises, local communities or large shops so that, should it ever be needed, you have the knowledge to action. When a defibrillator is required to be used you dial 999, state the ID of the defibrillator, the emergency services will then provide the code to unlock the device for use.