60-Second Rule – How Many AEDs Should Your Workplace Have?
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) save lives and they should be in every workplace. If your workplace does not have AEDs onsite, you should speak to the person in charge of occupational health and safety to find out why. AEDs in the workplace ensure that victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) have a better chance of survival. In fact, a person’s survival rate increases when the first shock has been delivered within the first three minutes.
In 2018, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation asked the government to make AEDs mandatory in public buildings in BC. Though nothing has changed in BC, raising awareness on how AEDs save lives may one day influence the government to make them mandatory nationwide.
Ideally, every office should have an AED within a 60-second retrieval time.
Why is timing so important when it comes to AED?
Once a person goes into SCA, time is of the essence. The first few minutes (0-3 minutes) are the most important as the victim will have no circulation and will not be breathing, meaning their brain and organs are not getting the blood and oxygen they need.
Between 4-6 minutes (without intervention), a person experiencing SCA may suffer irreversible brain damage. Between 6-10 minutes brain damage is likely, and over 10 minutes, brain damage is definite.
To be able to deliver the necessary life-saving shocks in the first three minutes, an AED must be within 60-seconds retrieval time. Imagine having a medical emergency on the lower level of an office and the AED is on the upper level with an entire flight of stairs (or more) and an elevator between. This situation could be the difference between life and death.
Having an AED within 60-seconds retrieval time (usually equating to one on each level of the workplace) will enable you to retrieve it in time and still get it set up, hooked up, and analyzed in the 3 minute time frame. Depending on the size of the office, having several AEDs on the same floor may be necessary.
It is also important not to have an AED in a locked office as this would waste precious time in the event someone needed AED. There should be publicly accessible AEDs on each floor of the workplace with clear signage directing to their location.
Which AED is the best for an office environment?
At First Edition First Aid, our business is all about saving lives. We carry Philips-brand AEDs designed for both the workplace and home. We also carry AED accessories such as wall mounts and cases to ensure that offices have its AEDs safely and securely stored.
View Philips-brand AEDs on our website.
Look around your office. Do you see an AED nearby that is within a 60-second retrieval time? If so, is it the only AED in the office?
Make sure your OH&S coordinator evaluates the work area to make sure it is equipped to handle medical emergencies such as SCA.