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Who May Use the AED's

How Much Training Is Required?

The American Heart Association and Phillips Medical Systems strongly recommend CPR before the use of an AED. The UMD EHS office feels the same way and  therefore encourages everyone who can to take an Adult CPR/AED training course from either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. UMD Human Resources will attempt to provide Adult CPR/AED training courses on campus as funding and time permit.  

Although it is highly desirable to be trained in CPR when using an AED, it is recognized that not everyone has the opportunity to take a certified CPR class.  The Phillips Heartstart was designed to be very user friendly so that even an untrained person could use it successfully.  There are audible and visual cues to guide the user in placing the pads correctly and administering the shock at the right time.  For this reason, and to give as many campus employees and student groups as possible an awareness of the Phillips Heartstart AED and how it works, a 30 minute AED Awareness training course has been prepared and is provided by the UMD EHS Office.  Sign up on line on this site or on the UMD Human Resources website.

NOTE: Please contact the American Heart Association and/or Phillips Medical Systems for more information.

Can I Hurt Someone With The AED?

The AED is designed so that it will only shock a person whose heart rhythm is within specific parameters (for instance, V-fib). All the operator needs do is verify that no one else is touching the patient. Additionally, the Heartstart FR2 AED uses low-energy biphasic electrical therapy. Unlike older models of manual defibrillators, the amount of energy delivered to the patient is unlikely to hurt a person who is touching the patient.

Can I Make Things Worse?

Technically, you can… The statistics from Phillips say the FR2+ will correctly identify a shock-able rhythm 90% (So 10% of those in V-Fib or V-Tach will not get the cue to be shocked).   The FR2+ will incorrectly identify a non-shock-able rhythm 95% (so 5% of those who should not be shocked will get the cue to be shocked).  However, this is better than human error and if you are checking a pulse that 5% will go down.

Also, if someone's heart is not pumping blood, they will have certain brain damage after 4 to 6 minutes and will die after 10 to 15 minutes.  The AED cannot make things worse in this case. It is designed to work well in a variety of environments and conditions.

There is Minnesota State legislation and US Federal legislation known as the "Good Samaritan Law" that protects non-certified medical personnel from being sued when lending assistance to a person in danger.  Therefore, if something should go wrong, you are protected from a lawsuit.  This legislation has been passed by most states to encourage people to do whatever they can for anyone in danger or medical distress, and by the Federal Government specifically to encourage the layperson to use AED's whenever a heart failure is suspected.

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