The importance of AED machines

KTVO AED Family 411.JPG

More than 350,000 people will suffer from cardiac arrest this year according to the American Red Cross.

That is why some are pushing for more training and access to Automated External Defibrillators (AED).

These easy to operate tools are being used to save many lives.

School nurse Midge Cull credits and AED for giving her the chance to do the extraordinary.

"You have the ability to save someone's life."

A normal day in the classroom changed quickly when teacher Jim Pena collapsed from a cardiac arrest.

Cull brought Pena back to life.

"From what I understand, the type of thing I had, without the AED machine, I wouldn't have survived anyway because my heard had stopped beating."

Paramedics say and AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest.

They tell us it's an easy to operate tool even for someone with no medical background.

"The AED walks you through step by step of what you need to do," said Paramedic and EMS Instructor Robert Kelley.

Kelley says to check the picture with theAED to show you where to place the patches on the patient's body.

He also says you should make sure the area is clear and nobody is touching the patient.

"The AED is designed not to shock somebody that is not in a cardiac arrest rhythm."

Kelley says federal laws protect good Samaritans from any liability as they work to save a life.

"It's always better to try to help somebody else in need," said Kelley. "For every minute that CPR is not done to somebody in sudden cardiac arrest, they have a ten percent less chance of survival."

After teaching for 39 years in the classroom, Jim Pena says he was the one who learned that AEDs can make a life and death difference.

"You would want someone to do it for your child or for you or for your wife or husband so why not do that for other people also."

The Red Cross advocates for all Americans to be able to be within four minutes of and AED and someone trained to use it.

Look for training in your community through the local fire department of the Red Cross.

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