Each year, approximately 300,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) that require revival from an automated external defibrillator (AED). According to the results of a survey commissioned by Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS), a leader in first-aid and safety programs, although many workplaces have AEDs on site, it’s likely that a majority of workers would not be prepared to locate and use the units. The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive ® among 2,019 adults ages 18 and older (of whom 916 are employed), found that 79 percent of employed adults do not know where their workplace’s AED is located.
“The American Red Cross says that bystanders could save at least 20,000 additional SCA victims each year with more widespread use of AEDs,” said Jamie Samide, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas. “Our survey suggests that this may be a challenge unless more organizations partner with a first aid provider like Cintas to ensure AEDs are properly installed and maintained. Organizations must also train their employees to know how to recognize the symptoms of SCA and find and use the units.”
The September 2013 survey indicates that many workplaces need to make AEDs more available. Thirty percent of employed U.S. adults note that their workplace does not have an AED on site. Merely having an AED on-site, however, is only the first step. Organizations also need to train their employees on the use of AEDs to improve employee confidence and skills in situations involving them. Of employed U.S. adults:
- Less than 1 in 5 (17 percent) feel confident that they could reach the nearest AED in their workplace and return to the victim quickly
- Eighty-six percent would not feel comfortable using the AED during an emergency such as cardiac arrest
- Eighty-eight percent have not received training on the proper use of the workplace AED
“Too often, we find that workplaces believe having an AED on site is an adequate precaution in regards to SCA,” added Samide. “To increase confidence and effectiveness during an emergency, organizations should work with a safety provider that offers AEDs, tests and inspections, and training, to save time and ensure ongoing safety and compliance.”