As an extended part of first aid training people can also train to operate automated external defibrillator (AED). In case you are not familiar with the term, an AED is a computerized medical device that checks a person's heart rhythm and lets you know if they require a shock. The machine actually lets the user know when to administer the shock to the ailing person.
It is fairly simple to use as it utilizes voice prompts, text messages, and lights to let you know what to do next with the person who is having heart trouble. Most places that offer first aid training also offer the AED course separately. It only requires a couple of hours of training and can definitely be the difference of life or death for someone who might suffer a heart attack while in your presence. These machines are very safe, easy to use, and accurate.
The AED machines have been a requirement for ambulances and paramedics vehicles but have recently gone under scrutiny as to whether or not they should be placed in large venues such as sports arenas, gated communities, shopping malls and places that normally have larger crowds. This is strongly supported by the American Heart Association however by no means do they feel that these devices should be placed where people without any basic training in AED would be able to operate them.
Further the American Heart Association wants stringent rules placed in accordance with these machines. They feel that once an organization or facility attains AED's that EMS should be notified that they are on ground so that in the event of an emergency the 911 operator will have that on file and can let the caller know that. They also want a facilitator to oversee this program to ensure its quality as well as overseeing the actual sale of the machines too. Finally, they do not want anyone that is not trained in CPR and AED to operate the machines. Regardless of their simplistic nature if the AED is not used properly is can do more harm than good.
First aid training in conjunction with CPR and AED training all go hand in hand and even though AED machines pretty much tell you what to do step by step, the operator of the machinery needs to know that it is indeed the correct time to utilize this. In other words is he sure that this person is having cardiac arrest?
This is why the three components plug in so nicely together, the first aid training teaches you how to recognize a heart attack, the AED training teaches you how to operate the machine, and almost always CPR is involved with this trio so this is why the combination can be so very important. The first aid training along with the other forms of training let you know important factors such as not to use them on children under eight years of age.
Both the AED and CPR class are taken together as one and this is very important training that only takes up a few hours of your time in an attempt to maybe one day save a life.