By Maryann Sinkler
We’re having a contest in the Red Cross Health & Safety Department this month. The employees have divided into Team “Nothing Shocking” and Team “Los Defibs” and are competing to see how many Automated External Defibrillator (AED) sales leads they can generate. The goal is to identify 96 potential AED customers during the month of April and I’m proud to say that, together, they already have more than 25 leads!
As a manager of the department, I wanted to have some fun raising awareness about a very serious topic. Did you know Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in America? Do you know what it is? I didn’t until I started working for the Red Cross and now I want to pass this important information on to you: SCA occurs without warning when the electrical rhythm of the heart suddenly goes haywire. At that moment, the victim (your dad, co-worker, child, grocery store clerk, etc.) collapses.
Now, here’s the scariest part: Unless a person experiencing SCA gets a shock from an AED within minutes – to reset their heart rhythm – they will die. Ideally, the shock needs to be given within four minutes. That means we can’t rely oemergency responders because they simply can’t always get there in time. By the time someone calls 9-1-1 and responders make their way to the victim, it’s often seven or eight minutes and that’s just too long.
So, the answer is to have everyone, and we do mean everyone, within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it. That’s the Red Cross goal. We know that for every AED we can get out in the community, more people will live when SCA strikes. Specifically, the chances of a victim of SCA living go from 5% to 70% if they have access to an AED.
Thus, the contest! Here’s how you can help us: Is there an AED where you work? Worship? Play? Workout? Study? Shop? Dine? For total success, there should be an AED everywhere there is a fire extinguisher. So, put on your thinking caps and send our AED expert, Allison McIntyre (404-575-3079 or firstname.lastname@example.org ) the names/contact information for places you know of that need an AED.
We thank you now and someone else may thank you later!