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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Emergency Responders Network - AED Implementation

AED Medical Questions:

AED Technical Questions:

Training Questions:

CPR Medical Questions:

Legal Questions:

Company Questions:

General Questions:


AED Medical Questions:

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) simply means that the heart unexpectedly and abruptly quits beating. This is usually caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). It is the number one killer of Americans. For more information on SCA click here.
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Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest the same as a heart attack?
No. A heart attack is a condition in which the blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked, resulting in the death of the heart muscle. Heart attack victims usually (but not always) experience chest pain and usually remain conscious. Heart attacks are serious and sometimes will lead to sudden cardiac arrest. However, sudden cardiac arrest may occur independently from a heart attack and without warning signs. SCA results in death if not treated immediately.
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Who is at risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
SCA is difficult to predict and most victims have no prior symptoms. Anyone who has suffered SCA, a heart attack, or knows they have an arrhythmia may be at greater risk. While most sudden cardiac arrest victims are over 50, sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere, and at anytime.
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Why does someone need an AED?
when a person loses their pulse (resulting in rapid unconsciousness), the heart most often goes into uncoordinated electrical activity called ventricular fibrillation. The heart quivers uselessly and cannot pump blood. The AED delivers an electric current to the heart muscle, stopping the quivering motion and allowing the heart to resume effective beating.
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What is Ventricular Fibrillation?
Ventricular fibrillation (VF), often called "V-Fib" is an abnormal heart rhythm often seen in sudden cardiac arrest. This rhythm is caused by an abnormal and very fast electrical activity in the heart. VF is chaotic and unorganized; the heart just quivers and cannot effectively pump blood. VF will be short lived and will deteriorate to asystole (a flat line) if not treated promptly. The treatment for "V-Fib" is defibrillation. For each minute that VF persists, the likelihood of successful resuscitation decreases by approximately 10 percent.
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What if I attach the AED to someone who doesn't need it?
The AED makes shock delivery decisions based upon the patient's heart rhythm, and will not allow a shock to be delivered if not needed. Simply put, the machine will not let you shock a non-shockable rhythm. There are, however, risks associated with the use of an AED and that is why training is included in setting up an AED Program.
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Can I accidentally shock someone?
The AED will not charge up to deliver a shock unless it detects a shockable rhythm. Only after it goes into a "shock advised" mode will it charge up and advise the user to "deliver the shock now". The user simply pushes the button to deliver the shock.
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How do I recognize the need for defibrillation?
You would place an AED on someone you would do CPR on (unresponsive, not breathing, and has no pulse)... The machine decides whether or not to defibrillate!
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How do I remember the correct steps for using an AED?
The most difficult aspect of using an AED is recognizing the need for it in the first place! Once you have decided to use the device, simply follow the visual and audio prompts provided by the machine itself!
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Should CPR be performed first before applying the AED?
While CPR is a lifesaving skill, it should be performed initially only to "buy time" until the AED arrives. Defibrillation is the single most important treatment for a victim in cardiac arrest and therefore, delaying the application of the AED should be avoided. The AED will then prompt you when to resume CPR. Keep in mind that CPR provides some circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the victim's heart and brain which can increase defibrillation success rates.
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Must I remove the defibrillator pads before doing chest compressions?
No. The pads remain on throughout the resuscitation and until the patient is transferred to advanced care providers such as paramedics. If the pads are in their correct locations on the patient's chest, they will not interfere with proper hand placement or compressions.
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After I have successfully defibrillated the victim and the pulse returns, do I keep the AED on the patient?
Yes, even after the patient has been successfully defibrillated, they are still at risk of developing ventricular fibrillation again. The AED will continue to monitor the victim for the return of VF. If VF is detected, the device will prompt you. The AED should be left on until emergency personnel assume responsibility for the patient.
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AED Technical Questions:

What is Defibrillation?
The only effective treatment for VF is an electrical shock called defibrillation. Defibrillation is an electrical current applied to the chest and should be administered within 3 to 5 minutes after collapse when possible. The electrical current passes through the heart with the goal of stopping the VF and giving an opportunity for the heart's normal electrical system to take control and pump blood again. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, very few resuscitation attempts are successful.
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What is an AED?
An AED, which stands for: Automated External Defibrillator, is a device used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. Built-in computers assess the patient's heart rhythm, judge whether defibrillation is needed, and then administer the shock. Audible and/or visual prompts guide the user through the process.
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How does an external defibrillator work?
Voltage stored by the defibrillator pushes electrical current (a shock) through the chest by way of electrodes or paddles placed on the chest. This brief pulse of current halts the chaotic activity of heart, giving the heart a chance to re-start with a normal rhythm.
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Is there a lot of maintenance required?
The AED is designed to maintain itself in a state of readiness. Internal self checks are performed by the machine nightly and if a problem is encountered, the AED will visually and audibly advise the user that a problem exists. There are two types of batteries : rechargeable and disposable. Rechargeable batteries are checked on a daily basis. Disposable batteries are good for those AED units in public access and environments where they will not be used frequently or checked on a daily basis.
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Training Questions:

Who is required to provide CPR and First Aid Training?
Examples of organizations that meet the established criteria are: Safety Team members, First Aid providers, Nursing Care facilities, Medical assistants, Doctors Offices, facilities for the Developmentally Disabled, Home Health Care workers, Hospitals and Outpatient facilities, Tissue Banks, Hospice facilities, General Dentistry, Medical Laboratories, Orthodontic and Oral Surgery facilities, Janitorial workers, Housekeepers, Laundry Attendants, Human labs, Sanitation workers, Plumbers, Industrial Facilities!
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Who are our instructors?
Emergency Responders Network instructors are Currently employed Firefighters, EMT's and Paramedics with real life experience. All instructors are required to pass rigorous training and must demonstrate proficiency to hold valid a instructor's certification!
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How does a typical live training session work?
We will come to your facility at your convenience and provide your organization with the training of your choice (see the "Training" section of this website). Our prices are the MOST reasonable and our instructor(s) are currently employed Firefighters, Paramedics and EMTs. We provide a fun learning environment and before you know it, you will have learned the skills necessary to save lives!!!
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How does Interactive CD-based training work?
Taking advantage of the computer revolution, interactive CD-based incorporates all of the latest medical information and techniques. It offers the user the ability to study at their own pace and ensures that every participant will receive exactly the same training.

The user will log onto the First Aid for All (internet connection required) and will guide them through the process. They may quit at any time and re-start where they left off when they come back. The assessment is included and certification of achievement will be issued upon completion. Computer Requirements
win95, 2000, ME, XP Pentium ll/500 or higher, CD Rom Drive, Internet connection
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CPR Medical Questions:

How efficient is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)?
According to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that CPR is approximately 10-30% as efficient as the heart beating on its own.
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Does mouth to mouth breathing provide adequate oxygen for the victim?
While the air you breathe in contains approximately 21% oxygen, your exhaled breath contains approximately 16% oxygen. Therefore, As long as you adhere to the recommended guidelines, there is plenty of oxygen for all parties involved!
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How can I tell if CPR is working?
Defined, CPR is working if you are circulating oxygenated blood throughout the body. However, because you will not have the clinical tools necessary to verify this, the only way to tell is to see if the chest rises with ventilation and if the chest compression produces a pulse (someone must feel a pulse point while compressions are in progress). If you are unsure whether you are doing CPR correctly during an emergency - don't stop. Its better to perform CPR imperfectly than not at all!
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Can performing CPR incorrectly kill the victim?
Presuming the victim has no pulse and is not breathing, No. Remember the person in cardiac arrest is already clinically dead. CPR can only help. Even if it is not done "letter perfect" it will probably provide some benefit to the victim.
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What if I crack a rib when I do CPR?
Correctly performed CPR frequently causes broken ribs. Some studies show up to 30% of cardiac arrest victims receive broken ribs as a result of CPR. This more commonly occurs with the older victim as the cartilage is less compliant and the bones more brittle. Just remember, it's better to have a cracked rib then be dead.
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Will CPR always save a life?
For victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR without defibrillation often results in an unsuccessful resuscitation.
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Legal Questions:

Who enforces the requirements?
•Senate bill 198, article 7 - Title 8 California Code of regulations, section 5193 and Cal-OSHA section 1910.1030: Requires all business of 10 or more employees to provide CPR and First aid courses
•Title 8 California Code of regulations, Section 5193: Requires all businesses whose employees are exposed to potentially infectious materials must have an Exposure Control Plan and provide annual infection control training.......
•There are also many agencies controlling individual industries (i.e. Childcare providers, Healthcare facilities, retirement homes, etc..) on the local and regional level that require such training.
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Who approves Emergency Responders Network Training Courses?
Emergency Responders Network exceeds all Federal, Cal-OSHA and Emergency Medical Authority requirements (including American Heart Association® Courses).
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Am I protected by the good Samaritan Law when performing lifesaving treatment, such as CPR, First Aid or Automated External Defibrillator?
Yes! While anybody can sue anyone for just about anything, there have been no successful cases when those involved acted in good faith as any prudent person would have done in similar circumstances. The good Samaritan Law protects those who would render aid in a time of need!
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Can I be sued using the defibrillator?
To date, there have been no cases reported where someone was held liable for using an AED. However, there have been lawsuits for not having an AED regarding the "standard of care" (see examples below). Most states, including California, have passed "Good Samaritan" legislation protecting the lay rescuer from lawsuits. Exact wording taken from Congressional Bill, Section 248, defines this protection:

SEC. 248. (a) PERSONS USING AEDS- Any person who provides emergency medical care through the use of an automated external defibrillator is immune from civil liability for any personal injury or wrongful death resulting from the provision of such care, except as provided in subsection (c).
(c) INAPPLICABILITY OF IMMUNITY- Immunity under subsections (a) and (b) does not apply to a person if the person engaged in gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct in the circumstances described in such subsections that apply to the person with respect to automated external defibrillators.
1) Busch Gardens, FL: found negligent for not properly training its employees to provide emergency care, and for failing to have essential medical equipment, including a defibrillator on premises. Plaintiff awarded $500,000 in damages for the death of her teenage daughter! This case was reported by Richard A. Lazar, Defibrillators Enter the Business Marketplace, Occupational Health & Safety, August(1997)
2) United Airlines: suit filed by widow of a passenger who died from SCA, alleges the on-board medical equipment carried by the airline was not adequate to treat her husband. A defibrillator was not on board.
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Can anyone buy an automated external defibrillator?
AEDs are devices manufactured and sold under guidelines approved by the FDA. Current FDA rules require a physician's prescription to buy an AED, though there is legislation in the works to streamline the process and encourage public access defibrillation programs.
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Who can use an AED?
The FDA has classified AEDs as restricted medical devices that, “…are to be used only by individuals with the proper training and certification in accordance with state and local laws.”
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Why should a licensed physician or medical authority be involved with purchasers of AEDs?
AEDs are FDA regulated medical devices. A prescription to acquire the unit from a board-certified physician in the state the unit will be located in is required by federal regulation. In addition, a licensed physician or medical authority will ensure that all designated responders are properly trained; that the AED is properly maintained; and that the program meets all requirements, which may vary from state to state.
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Do I need a prescription to purchase an AED?
Although prescription requirements have been relaxed recently, in an answer - Yes. The AED@Home Defibrillator is a prescription device. Our comprehensive package INCLUDES your prescription and medical direction, as well as training at a local center. We can also arrange optional in-home training for an additional charge.
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Company Questions:

Who is Emergency Responders Network, Inc.?
Emergency Responders Network, Inc., as our name implies, is composed of a network of emergency response professionals who have dedicated their lives to the profession of saving lives. Our team consists of Firefighters, Paramedics, Physicians, Nurses, EMTs and other individuals associated with the emergency medical services professionals. The owner, Mike Myers is a Fire Captain & Paramedic in the City of Santa Barbara.
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What is your primary motivation?
Several years ago, we became convinced that the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in places where people live, work and play could save thousands of lives every year. Today, Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs are enthusiastically endorsed by numerous organizations. Since that time, we have developed and refined our lifesaving AED Programs which have resulted in the saving of people's lives!!!
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What is your mission?
Our mission at Emergency Responders Network is to increase public awareness of health and safety issues and provide affordable common sense solutions through education, technology, experience and support. We will accomplish our mission by empowering a network of compassionate people whose background in emergency services gives them the knowledge needed to share these objectives.

Additionally, we desire to lift our community up to the highest standards of emergency preparedness and believe that when you combine the natural human compassion found in all of us with the highest quality of training, products and services, our communities will not only be a better place to live, but a safer place as well!
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Who are your customers?
Emergency Responders Network has been providing its services to satisfied customers for many years. Our customers include: Showtime Networks, Inc., The Four Seasons , The Montecito Country Club, Raytheon, Nestle, Plains & Exploration Corporation, The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, The City of Santa Barbara, The Samarkand Retirement Community, Villa Santa Barbara, Goleta Sanitary District, Laguna Blanca School, UCSB, De La Vina Surgi-Center, DR Campbell - DDS and many other Daycare provider centers, Dentist's and Doctor's offices, medical facilities, retirement communities, community action groups and more.
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General Questions:

What is public access defibrillation (also known as PAD)?
Public access defibrillation or "PAD" refers to making AEDs available in areas where people live, work and play. They are designed to be used by trained responders.
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How Many AEDs Will My Facility Require?
The American Heart Association recommends that AEDs be located so as to provide a "drop to shock" window of no more than three to five minutes and be no more than 90 seconds away from the victim. Study results indicate that survival rate can be increased up to 74% by reducing the time to three minutes or less.
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What should our risk manager be concerned with when establishing an AED program?
You need to establish a consistent, high quality program throughout your organization and thoroughly document it. Typically this means establishing your company AED Program policy and procedures in a complete and consistent manner. The Emergency Responders Network AED Program Implementation Guide and Reference manual does most of this work for you!
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Isn't calling 911 enough?
Emergency medical service (EMS) professionals and firefighters save many SCA victims every year, but a lack of equipment and / or time delays may prevent them from reaching victims of SCA soon enough. In some areas, an ambulance may not even get to the scene in less than 10 minutes. And, on average, it takes EMS teams in the U.S. 6-12 minutes to arrive. So, even if an EMS team does have a defibrillator, the response time may not be fast enough to save a victim's life.
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Why would I need an AED at home?
Approximately 70% of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home. Studies have proven that survival rates decrease about 10% with every minute you wait. Since the average response time for emergency paramedics is greater than six minutes, having an AED in your home will allow you to administer early defibrillation, increasing the chances of survival for the victim.
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What is your policy on privacy & security?
At Emergency Responders Network, the privacy and security of the information you provide on our site is a primary concern. Your information will never be shared without your prior permission.
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