Automated External Defibrillator, how does it work?
We can save even more lives by providing first aid training for the entire population and equipping homes, public spaces and businesses with defibrillators.
Having a defibrillator is primarily a protective measure in case of emergency. It can potentially save the lives of neighbors, loved ones and acquaintances alike.
Every year in France 50,000 people die prematurely from cardiac arrest (15 times more than car accidents) with a 5% survival rate. This rate is extremely low compared to certain American cities (notably Seattle) with survival rates close to 70%!
The main reason for the low survival rate is because an ambulance arrives, on average, in 13 minutes and one must intervene within the first 4 min to save a life threatened by cardiac arrest.
“Having a defibrillator means, above all else, having the power to potentially save a life”
Understandably, in order to a save a victim one must intervene before the emergency team arrives. The primary witness is the first essential link in the emergency chain of response and must quickly start CPR and use a defibrillator.
The key to saving lives is the combination of first aid training and defibrillator accessibility. More and more towns, public spaces and businesses are equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED), being viewed on par with extinguishers. Certain residential buildings, pharmacies and stores (restaurants, cafés, supermarkets…) are equipping themselves as well. A revolution is happening in hopes of imitating the Seattle model!
1. Automated External Defibrillator, how and when to use it? 💪
“The AED vocally guides you and gives you step by step instructions”
The external defibrillator as we know it (in contrast to an implantable defibrillator) has existed for over 50 years. Invented by James Rand in 1947 the device was further developed by Dr. Zoll in 1956. A defibrillator is a medical device that “restarts” the heart by using electric shocks to stop ventricular fibrilation (uncontrollable heart contractions).
When confronted with cardiac arrest, an automated external defibrillator is a crucial part of the 3 steps needed to save a life
- Alert emergency services by calling 112 (EU) / 911 (US).
- Start CPR to maintain the brain’s oxygen levels.
- Defibrillate (if available on hand) as soon as possible to revive the heart.
It’s extremely easy to use. The defibrillator vocally guides you step by step and gives you simple instructions to follow. It automatically analyzes the heart beat and alone decides what therapy to deliver. There’s no risk of making the wrong decision like, for example, accidentally delivering a shock to a victim who only fainted.
For more details about how to use a defibrillator or what to do to help a victim of cardiac arrest, visit Everyday Heroes: our digital platform, developed in part with the Paris Fire Brigade, that teaches you how to save lives in a steady, short, and fun way. 🚀
2. But who can use an AED? 🤨
“It was proven that a 10 year old child can use an automated external defibrillator as effectively as a firefighter”
Like we said, automated external defibrillators found in public spaces (train stations, government buildings, schools…) are extremely easy to use. In Seattle it was proven that a 10 year old child can use an automated external defibrillator as effectively as a trained firefighter. Suffice to say, anyone can use an AED.
But what about the law?
Since May 4, 2007, a French law stipulates that every person, even non-medical personnel, is authorized to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) in order to rescue someone experiencing cardiac arrest. A witness that provides first aid to a cardiac arrest victim cannot be sued in case of death. All witnesses are authorized to use a defibrillator and they’re even covered by the law!
Lifeaz’s mission is to save lives by putting citizens in the middle of the emergency chain of response by combining first aid training and defibrillator accessibility. To do this we’ve developed Everyday Heroes, a fun digital platform that teaches lifesaving techniques. Developed in part with the Paris Fire Brigade, Everyday Heroes is accompanied by our new generation of connected defibrillators, 100% made in France and easy to use by all.