In today’s show, a mournful mother confesses, “We believe that had we had one, she could very well be with us here today…” This is a sad conclusion for tragic events that could have turned out differently. And AED could have saved her, had it been available.
Dr. Oz: Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Can Save a Life
Janet was 11 years old and she was a seemingly healthy, typical school girl who was out on a cheerleading practice with her team one August afternoon. But when she went out for a slow jog with the other cheerleaders, she collapsed on the field in a cardiac arrest. One of her coaches, a pediatric nurse, immediately began CPR, but there was no AED. EMS came 22 minutes after their 911 call, and 20 minutes after that, paramedics took over. They arrived in the hospital 45 minutes after Janet collapsed and she had been in cardiac arrest already. The paramedics were able to save her, but she went to cardiac arrest again and she couldn’t be saved. Even after undergoing 45 minutes of CPR, Janet died at the hospital less than one hour after collapsing.
Dr. Oz at this point says to Karen, Janet’s mother, “I’m curious what we could have done differently with an AED? Did anyone have an idea that this device could have saved her life? Did anyone know her heart had stopped beating?” Karen answers that the pediatric nurse knew that Janet’s heart had stopped beating and she already started CPR. Still, had an AED device had been available, her life would be saved. She did not know that in those crucial minutes, they needed an AED. After everything had happened, Karen and her husband started researching and thought that it could have ended differently.
Karen explains, “AED has a critical part in the chain of survival when someone has a cardiac arrest.”
What is Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?
It’s a device we see in hallways and public places all over the country. It means Automatic External Defibrillator. It checks the heart’s rhythm and then it can send electrical shock to restart it. But many Americans do not know anything about this life-saving device. Dr. Oz explains why you should get trained to use AED because according to a survey, 70% of Americans feel helpless to act when someone is having a cardiac arrest. So, Dr. Oz conducted a social experiment in his studio to see if the audience is prepared when a cardiac emergency comes up. How about you, will you be prepared?
And so, they made a trial experiment on the Dr. Oz audience and see if they could pass this life-and-death test. It was done three times with three different groups. There was an actor who played a victim of cardiac arrest while waiting in the holding room. And there was one Red Cross trained emergency volunteer to be part of the act in the set, who played the role of a helpful bystander. The audience had no idea what’s about to happen.
Dr. Oz’s crew installed an AED on a fake wall in the holding area where the social experiment was to occur. When it happened, the audience was terrified and sat motionless. They didn’t know what to do. Except for in the first experiment, there was a nurse who knew what AED was and assisted the Red Cross actor. Also, in the second trial, there was a nurse who works as trainer for CPR and AED and she was able to help. In the third experiment, there was no nurse in the audience but there was one bystander who stepped up to the plate and assisted calmly. In all of those three trials, 99% of the audience didn’t know what to do and they did not even know what an AED was when the Red Cross actor asked for it.
Dr. Oz: Get Trained To Use an AED
Everybody should get trained to use and AED. Lipica Shah, the Red Cross volunteer who took part in the experiments, shows the audience how to use an AED during a cardiac emergency.
She says that there are THREE THINGS you should do when you see someone go down:
- Call 911
- If the victim is unconscious and not breathing, begin CPR
- As soon as it becomes available to you, use AED because in combination with CPR, it helps the individual so much who is in cardiac emergency
And then she explains that AED is super easy to use. Once you turn the AED on, it tells you what to do. Here are the steps:
1- Turn on AED.
2- Bare the chest. Wipe it down and make sure it’s dry.
3- Apply pads to patient’s chest.
4- Plug in the connector to the device.
5- Stand clear while AED analyzes.
Note: Do not shock unless there’s a problem. So the device will analyze the heart’s rhythm.
6- Press shock button if necessary.
Note: The device will instruct you to do so if it’s necessary after it analyzes. The AED has an automated recorded voice that will tell you what to do.
Dr. Oz and Lipica challenge everybody to take a class in Red Cross. They are offered all over the country. To find out, visit their website www.redcross.org, type in your zip code and find a class near you. Lipica says that the more training you have, the more confidence you will have. You get to build that muscle memory and so the more lives you get to save. Additionally, check the Doc’s First Aid Guide: Read It Before You Need It