All of our training courses currently include training for AED use. You get to see AED machines and to use an AED. It’s an important part of life saving… but the training only works if you can get one quickly, so do you know where your nearest AED is?
Imagine…. You’re at a family dinner out somewhere locally. Granddad collapses at the table. Thankfully you were on our course just last week and you know exactly what to do. You find he’s not breathing and send someone else for an AED while you start CPR.
For Granddad’s best chance of survival – Where do you send them?
Survival of the fittest (bystander)
From the time a person has a cardiac arrest (their heart stops and they need CPR and an AED) their survival rate drops about 10% for every minute that passes. By the time six minutes have passed, the survival rate is very low. So what do we do in those few minutes?
You (the first aid attendant) arrive & check the scene and the person. You call bystanders to help. You assess airways and breathing and find there isn’t any. You send the nearest bystander to call EMS and another to get an AED, then start CPR. (If any of this is unfamiliar – book some training!). I’m guessing about a minute has passed already.
Now make sure you have chosen a super-fit bystander to get the AED. They have to run ‘there’, get it and run back. Let’s assume they have no trouble finding it, or convincing the device owner to hand it over! That means the AED must be at most within two and a half minutes run. A recent study suggests that’s about 0.1 miles or 0.18 km. If you choose a super-fit, race-ready bystander then this increases – potentially even up to 0.5 miles if you’ve chosen someone who can do a 4-5 minute mile and is ready to.
Let’s imagine then, that we’re somewhere in the Sea 2 Sky area and someone has a cardiac arrest. Let’s also suggest that bystanders here are fitter than the average North American, but you’re unlikely to find an Olympic runner immediately at hand. The casualty is going to need an AED within about a quarter of a mile, or half a km.
So where is the AED?
As a critical part of the chain of survival, it would be good to have one available! Do you know where the AED is? Can you find them locally? Add any that you know about to the comment box, for all our sakes! We’re going to start asking around to find out for you – and eventually we’ll create a map of them, so that you know where to find them – or at least where to send your fit bystander.
Here’s your starter:
- Brennan Park, Squamish
- London Drugs, Squamish,
- Elaho Medical Centre, Squamish
- Totem Hall, Squamish
- Meadow Park, Whistler
And now Squamish AEDs on a Google Map!
Are you likely to get an AED?
Well, look at the list. You can judge.
The research study was done in Philadelphia County. 21% of arrests happened within ‘the 0.1 mile zone’ – but researchers also assumed that the bystander would be walking, not running. Make of that whatever you will, they apparently also have 2,300 AEDs within the study area. I think we’ll be lucky to get to 23 in the Sea 2 Sky area… but we’ll find out!
What if you’re unlucky?
Or at least the casualty you are helping hasn’t collapsed in a convenient location. Well, we’re not saying don’t try. Start CPR as always – back to this basic skill. But now you know where the AEDs are, so you have an idea if you’re likely to get one. If not – do the CPR anyway and wait for EMS, because you can be sure they’ll be bringing an AED.