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Portable Defibrillator (AED)

Definition - What does Portable Defibrillator (AED) mean?

Portable defibrillators, also called automated external defibrillators (AEDs), are electronic devices designed to deliver an electric shock to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

OSHA encourages the installation of quickly accessible AEDs in order to increase the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest incidents in workplaces. Prompt treatment of sudden cardiac arrest with an AED can restore normal cardiac function in up to 60% of cases, and can increase survival rates to more than 90%.

AEDs are designed to be easy to use. Mock exercises show that untrained sixth grade children are able to use them without difficulty.

Safeopedia explains Portable Defibrillator (AED)

Between 2001 and 2002, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) received reports of 1837 workplace fatalities related to loss of heart function (heart attack, electric shock, asphyxia). OSHA estimates that up to 60% of these fatalities may have been avoided if AEDs were immediately available. OSHA recommends that AEDs are installed in locations that would allow incident response times of 3 to 5 minutes. There are no specific OSHA standards for AEDs; however, OSHA does have general standards pertaining to first-aid-related hazards in the workplace.

In addition to being advocated for by OSHA, the presence of AEDs in the workplace is advocated for and supported by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Expansion of portable defibrillators in public spaces was promoted through U.S. federal legislation signed into law in 2000 and 2002. In addition to promoting expanded availability of AEDs, the 2000 legislation provided guidelines for their placement in federal buildings, including workplaces. The 2002 legislation provided state- and local-level grants for the purchase of AEDs and encouraged private companies to purchase AEDs and train workers in their use.
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