June 1-7 is AED/CPR Awareness Week
June 1, 2009
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death among adults in the U.S. Every year, close to 95 percent of SCA victims die due to the lack of access to easily administered lifesaving measures, such as automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
An AED is a self-contained, computerized medical device used to deliver an electrical shock to a person whose heart is fibrillating. An AED allows anyone ? regardless of their level of training ? to easily administer lifesaving first aid to a person experiencing SCA. It provides spoken instructions to the operator, reads the status of the patient’s heart and determines whether or not a shock is needed.
If a person collapses, will not wake up when gently shaken and is not breathing normally, direct someone to immediately call 9-1-1 and to locate the nearest AED. While waiting for the AED to arrive, begin CPR. Once the AED arrives, turn it on and follow the instructions. 9-1-1 call takers also can provide instructions for administering CPR and AEDs.
Any public gathering place, such as a house of worship, a fitness center, a retirement home or a golf course, is a possible location for an AED. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Training Division can help private organizations, nonprofits and faith communities establish their own public access defibrillation (PAD) programs. This free service includes:
- Assessment of how many AEDs are needed and where to place them.
- Development of a budget for equipment, training and promotion.
- Demonstration of different AED models and selection of the vendor.
- Arrangement for the prescription required to purchase an AED.
- Development of a response team plan for deployment.
If the AED vendor does not provide AED/CPR training, the Fire and Rescue Training Division can arrange it for a nominal fee.For more information about AEDs and the PAD program, visit the Fire and Rescue Department Training Division Web page or contact Captain Charles C. Henderson Jr., at 703-803-3860, TTY 711.
Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Adult and Community Education (ACE) also offers CPR/AED classes to the public for a fee. More information about the CPR/AED training classes offered by ACE can be found online.
In 2007, Fairfax County started a PAD program and installed AEDs in various county government and public schools facilities. For more information on the county government PAD program, contact Teri Flynn, risk manager, or Linda Buczek, health and safety coordinator/AED program manager, Fairfax County Risk Management Division, at 703-324-3040, TTY 711. For more information on the public schools PAD program, contact Jon Almquist, athletic training program administrator, Fairfax County Public Schools, at 571-423-1264, TTY 711.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711