So while I was at Dr Hubbard’s yesterday for a cortisone shot in my left foot, I noticed an AED Plus hanging on the lobby wall. Now when I was training to be an EMT, I used an AED (automatic external defibrillator, which is the portable charging system used when someone is in cardiac failure) while I was training to be an EMT but wasn’t familiar with the Plus portion of the name. Being the nerd that I am I had to Google it. And oh, my god, it’s so cool. Basically, you put the pads on the patient, the AED Plus will search for cardiac rhythm. If it detects none, the machine will shock the patient to try to restart the heart. The machine will tell you not to touch the patient (so you don’t get shocked yourself) and will automatically shock them instead of you having to push the button like we did back in the day. Then it will tell you to do chest compressions. If you are not doing them deep enough to be effective, it will tell you to do it harder. If you’re not doing it fast enough, it will play metronome sounds to get you to follow the rhythm you need in order to get the keep the blood pumping and the heart alive. If the compressions are both deep enough and fast enough, the machine will tell you, “Good compressions.” My how far we’ve come.
I’m so glad these machines exist as they’re easy to use and can help save a life when someone has a sudden collapse. Whenever I see them when I am out and about town, I am grateful that the owner of wherever I am cares enough about their people to provide this life-saving equipment to the public. There have been numerous cases of high schoolers collapsing at sports events and people dropping in malls and restaurants and AEDs coming to the rescue to keep them alive until they can get professional care. If you are a business owner or member of an event or organization, please consider having one (or more) of these available. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that stands between our next heartbeat or our last.
And if you haven’t already taken a course in CPR, please contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information or visit them at http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class and also schedule a blood donation with them as soon as possible. They currently have a shortage due to the storms of last week causing many blood drives and/or people to cancel and can use all the whole blood and platelets they can get.