Heart Safe Community
The goal of a heart safe community is to make the community a safer place to live, work and play by being prepared to reduce the number of deaths and disabilities associated with Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Through a Heart Safe Community program, communities can strengthen what the American Heart Association has called the "chain of survival" which has four basic links; Early Access - calling 911; Early CPR encouraging wide spread bystander CPR training to increase immediate action; Early Defibrillation - AEDs in public locations and individuals trained to use them; Early Advanced Care - the quick arrival of ALS Ambulance service to continue care.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Without warning Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. And it is almost always fatal. For every 100 patients that arrive in the ER in cardiac arrest and have been treated with CPR:
2 to 3 survive a few days
1 to 2 have a chance of full recovery
Following SCA, most survivors are at high-risk for suffering another cardiac arrest. Though this is a tragic reality, you are in a unique position to help change these statistics. Community education can significantly improve cardiac arrest survival. People in the community need to know how common cardiac arrest is and that there are rarely warning signs. Early recognition of the cardiac arrest, calling 911, as well as early CPR and defibrillation (AED use) can save lives.
That's why Allina Hospitals and Clinics launched Heart Safe Communities, as an effort to prevent death from Sudden Cardiac Arrest by placing Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) where people live, work and play. The program helps communities and organizations:
Educate citizens about SCA and improving heart health
Raise money to place AEDs with emergency medical service, fire and police personnel and to make AEDs available to businesses, schools and other public places that people gather.
Train people in CPR and how to use AEDs to save more lives.
Purchasing an AED for your community or organization
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are safe and easy to use - even for the minimally trained person. The Allina Hospitals and Clinics are happy to help you purchase an AED for your business, community, facility or organization a pace that is comfortable for you. For more information about the AEDs or purchasing one -please contact Hatti Carlson, Heart Safe Coordinator for Wright County.
For questions regarding the Heart Safe Communities program within the City of Delano - please contact Sara Schoepke.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is an automated external defibrillator?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small portable electronic device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and tells the user to deliver a defibrillation shock only if it is needed.
Unlike defibrillators used by health care professionals, AEDs are designed to allow trained non-professionals to respond to medical emergencies like sudden cardiac arrest. The devices are programmed to analyze the heart's electrical function. Voice prompts and screen displays explain how to attach electrodes onto the victim, then instruct users to stay clear while the AED analyzes his or her heart rhythm.
How Safe are AEDs?
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are very accurate and will not shock someone who is not in cardiac arrest. When used properly and with appropriate precautions, AEDs pose no risk to the rescuer of the patient.
Who can use an AED?
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easy to use. AEDs have pictures and voice prompts to guide the user through the process. All you need to do is turn it on and follow the instructions.
AEDs are safe. They will only shock a person who requires it.
Organizations like Allina's Heart Safe Communities offer classes that can provide more specific and detailed training on the AED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Police officers, firefighters, security officers, athletic trainers, flight attendants, lifeguards -- people who are often first on the scene when sudden cardiac arrest occurs -- often receive AED training and carry AEDs as part of their response kits.
What are the legal liability of using an AED?
Most experts agree that the benefits of prompt automated external defibrillator (AED) use outweigh the liability risks for three reasons:
- If sudden cardiac arrest is left untreated, the victim will die.
- AEDs on the market today are difficult to misuse.
- AED use is becoming a legal standard of care. Failure to have access to an AED may cause greater legal exposure than the potential misuse of the device.
Good Samaritan laws in all 50 states offer immunity for AED users who have completed the required training. For example, Minnesota State Statute 604A.01, subdivision 2, states that the non-professional user is exempt from civil liability.
The United States Food and Drug Administration requires AED labeling to indicate that the device should only be used by trained individuals.