Are AEDs Mandatory? What You Need to Know About Getting AEDs for Your Business
The Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) is a life-saving machine that uses shocks to ‘kick’ a heart back into rhythm when it has begun to beat irregularly. Thousands of lives have been saved from cardiac arrest because of AEDs. But the question we hear people ask most is, “Are AEDs mandatory?” If they are doing so much good, you would think so, wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t they be required if they are making a huge difference and saving hearts across the globe! Here is what you need to know of whether or not AEDs are mandatory and the rules behind having an AED for your business!
Are AEDs Mandatory?
Despite saving lives every year, in Canada, AEDs are not mandatory. There have been organizations, such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, who have called upon the government in an attempt to try and change this. In 2018, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada advocated to make defibrillators mandatory in BC, but nothing was changed. But the cause is not lost! By increasing awareness of these devices and identifying how important they are, there is still a chance to change this and make AEDs a requirement in buildings, at work sites, and at community centers across the country!
Why Are AEDs Necessary?
So why purchase an AED for your building and worksite if they are not mandatory? It’s simple – The law does should not govern if someone lives or dies, you should.
Wait… if someone has a cardiac arrest, can’t they just wait until the emergency responders arrive with an AED? The answer – yes. But did you know that every minute without the attention of an AED decreases the person’s chances of survival 7-10%, with permanent brain damage occurring at 4 minutes (Journalofethics.ama-assn.org)? As fast as emergency responders are, it can often still take them 7-10 minutes to arrive – which means that the chances of survival are next to zero. It is for this reason that we need AEDs in our businesses and public spaces! The more accessible AEDs are, the better prepared we can be, and the more lives we can save!
Why Does My Business Need an AED?
If you are part of a business, we strongly urge you to speak to your director or building manager to inquire about getting an AED in the office. Why? Because sudden cardiac arrest incidents often happen in the workplace!
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States, 10,000 SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) emergencies happen at work. In another report by Marsh Canada Limited, they identified that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in Ontario had found “an average of 200 claims of heart attack within the workplace.” Having a heart attack of course, increases your risk of experiencing cardiac arrest, and it can happen within the next few minutes following a heart attack, or days, weeks or years later Canada.ca states that 1 in 12 adults over the age of 20 will be living with heart disease. How many people are in your workplace?
By having an AED in your immediate business or workplace, you are protecting your employees, building residents, client visitors, and anyone else who is in the surrounding area! The presence of an AED also adds protection for laymen who are using the AEDs to save lives. A defibrillator provides you with the assurance that your own heart and the hearts around you might be saved should things take a turn for the worse. Add an OnSite AED to your workplace and be confident that you can save a life if needed.
Not sure how to convince your boss that you need an AED for your business? Take a look at our blog on the 5 ways that you can convince your leader that a defibrillator is the best choice!
Where Can I Find AEDs?
Even though AEDs are not mandatory in buildings and business across Canada, many workplaces have still acknowledged the importance of having a defibrillator nearby and provided one for use. Just check out all of these AEDs we have added within the Calgary area! These AED locations are often marked with an AED sign above the defibrillator’s location, or can be found by seeking out the building security or staff. The more you can find on your daily commute, the better prepared you will be should an emergency occur.
Take it a step further! Instead of just spotting these locations on your own, why not share them with the public! At First Edition we recognize the importance of identifying these AED locations and want to create further awareness. That is why we created the #FindAnAED campaign!
How it works is that whenever you see an AED, we want you to share the location by:
- Snapping a photo of the AED (and yourself if you’re willing!)
- Sharing it on your social media pages using the hashtag #AEDFound
- Adding your location
- Tagging @firsteditionAED so we can share it!
Wondering why you we need to share these AED locations on social media when there are apps such as GoodSAM and PulsePoint? We absolutely LOVE these emergency response apps and encourage people to use them as much as possible. Both apps have an AED registration section that allows you to list AEDs that you come across. The problem is that the PulsePoint and GoodSAM apps are still not accessible or used in every city or town yet. In order for these apps to work they have to be connected to the local fire and EMS agencies, which many not have agreed to do so (time to send a letter to city hall!). Until every city and town has access to these services, we want to share these locations and raise awareness until that happens! So, grab your phone and #FindAnAED!
Now that you know the answer to the question “Are AEDs mandatory,” why you need them for your business, and how they help, let’s spread the word of these amazing machines! Want to help further? Consider purchasing an AED for your home, workplace, or donating one to a location that still needs one! Make a difference one heartbeat at a time!