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About AED's

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are a proven method of reducing morbidity and mortality from acute myocardial infarction (Heart Attack).  An AED is a device that attaches to a victim's chest to assess the heart's rhythm.  An adult who has just gone into sudden cardiac arrest (i.e., cessation of a heartbeat, most commonly due to a heart attack) is most likely in urgent need of defibrillation and a metered electrical charge can often restore the heart to healthy function and save a life.  To provide a realistic chance of survival, defibrillation must be available soon after cardiac arrest.

The AED's located around campus (see AED Campus Locations) will enable University employees, the general public or students to deliver early defibrillation to victims in the first critical moments after a sudden cardiac arrest.  Responders' use of the AED should not replace the care provided by emergency medical services (EMS) providers but it is meant to provide a lifesaving bridge during the first few critical minutes it takes for advanced life support providers to arrive.  Upon arrival of the EMS providers, patient care should be transferred.  Go to "on line training" to  familiarize  yourself with the operation of these devices.

The UMD AED Public Access Defibrillation program is being managed by the EHS Office.  Medical direction and assistance is provided by the UMD Health Services and Physician and Medical Director Debra Cudnowski, MD.  Maintenance of the cabinets, AED units, and accessories is being carried out by Facilities Management.

How Much Maintenance Is Required?

The device's batteries last more than a year in service, can deliver 100 shocks, and have a five-year shelf life. Electrodes last about two years (but are single use). You do not need to plug the AED in or recharge it, so maintenance is minimal.

In addition, the Heartstart FR 2 has a self-test feature. It will test itself every night and every week (but remains ready for use even during the tests). To verify that your AED is ready for use, all you need to do is look through a small window on the case; if you see a flashing green light, the AED is fully functional.

If a flashing red "X" appears, only the battery needs to be replaced  - this will activate a self-test and is usually the only problem.

If you see a solid red "X" battery replacement will be tried.  If the battery replacement does not do the trick, then the device needs servicing.  FM will send the unit to the factory and replace it with a spare until the while the unit is being serviced.

Check the device regularly, and report to the FM front desk (8262) if there appears to be a problem.  Facilities Management will periodically be checking all of the AED’s on a monthly basis.  Batteries and pads will be replaced according to the manufacturers recommendations.  A

NOTE: If your device is flashing a red "X" or has a solid red "X" or your box is alarming, please contact Facilities Management at (8262)

How Much Training Is Required?

The American Heart Association and Philips Medical Systems strongly recommend CPR before the use of an AED. The UMD EHS office feels the same way and  therefore encourages everyone who can to take an Adult CPR/AED training course from either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. UMD Human Resources will attempt to provide Adult CPR/AED training courses on campus as funding and time permit.  

Although it is highly desirable to be trained in CPR when using an AED, it is recognized that not everyone has the opportunity to take a certified CPR class.  The Philips Heartstart was designed to be very user friendly so that even an untrained person could use it successfully.  There are audible and visual cues to guide the user in placing the pads correctly and administering the shock at the right time.  For this reason, and to give as many campus employees and student groups as possible an awareness of the Philips Heartstart AED and how it works, a 30 minute AED Awareness training course has been prepared and is provided by the UMD EHS Office.  Sign up on line on this site or on the UMD Human Resources website.

NOTE: Please contact the American Heart Association and/or Philips Medical Systems for more information.

Can I Hurt Someone With The AED?

The AED is designed so that it will only shock a person whose heart rhythm is within specific parameters (for instance, V-fib). All the operator needs do is verify that no one else is touching the patient. Additionally, the Heartstart FR2 AED uses low-energy biphasic electrical therapy. Unlike older models of manual defibrillators, the amount of energy delivered to the patient is unlikely to hurt a person who is touching the patient.

Can I Make Things Worse?

Technically, you can… The statistics from Phillips say the FR2+ will correctly identify a shock-able rhythm 90% (So 10% of those in V-Fib or V-Tach will not get the cue to be shocked).   The FR2+ will incorrectly identify a non-shock-able rhythm 95% (so 5% of those who should not be shocked will get the cue to be shocked). However, this is better than human error and if you are checking a pulse that 5% will go down.

Also, if someone's heart is not pumping blood, they will have certain brain damage after 4 to 6 minutes and will die after 10 to 15 minutes. The AED cannot make things worse in this case. It is designed to work well in a variety of environments and conditions.

Regular Maintenance:

Facilities Management will maintain a database of all AEDs, and a supply of batteries and pads.  The units have been put on recurring workorder to change the batteries and pads according to the manufacturer's recommendation.  The units will be checked monthly, just as fire extinguishers are, to ensure the cabinet is in place, and the green light is blinking in the AED window.  Any maintenance or repair will be taken care of by Facilities Management

After Use:

If the AED is used, you will complete a form (provided by the EHS Office) and send it to the EHS office (31 DAdB) within 24 hours. The AED's Data Card will be collected and all data will be downloaded for QA and records purposes. Dr. Cudnowski will review the data, and a report will be sent back to you. Additionally, the EHS office will gather additional survival data from the receiving hospital.

Facilities Management will check the operation of the AED, replace the pads and data card  and return it to service.

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