by Jamie McPhie
April 26, 2018
"With the increase in Hybrid & Electric vehicles, Automated External Defibrillators are becoming more and more common within the motor industry.".
We have all seen it on the TV and in the movies, right? A casualty is on the operating table, the monotone beep echoes around the room, then suddenly the Doctor springs into action shouting “CLEAR” before zapping the patient with the defib bringing them back to life! Well, realistically, AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) that are available to the public are not as dramatic as that. HOWEVER, they have proven to be a life saving piece of equipment when the time calls! The introduction of AEDs has been so effective in fact, that they are being made more and more accessible in public areas as well as in businesses, in particular, yep... you guessed it, the Automotive industry. So that begs the questions, what are Automated External Defibrillators and what do they do?
An AED is used when a person goes in to Cardiac Arrest (the heart has stopped). When a person goes in to Cardiac Arrest, the electrical signal that controls the compression of the heart goes into spasm, this is called Ventricular Fibrillation (VF). The AEDs job is to find VF, and deliver an electrical energy to try and restart the pulse back into its normal rhythm. If an Automated External Defibrillators is used quickly and in conjunction with effective CPR, you can triple the chances of survival for the casualty.
With the increase in Hybrid & Electric vehicles, AEDs are becoming more and more common within the motor industry. This is due to a high risk of cardiac arrest caused from high voltage injuries. Automated External Defibrillators are not “currently” legally required within the motor trade. However, certain brands now expect to see AEDs and are including this in brand audits. I personally believe that within the next 3-5 years, an AED will be required in all workshops that work with Hybrid or electric vehicles.
You may find it hard to believe, but AEDs are actually very easy to use, so easy in fact, that you do not even need training in order to use one. They are designed so that anyone can use one, with voice commands guiding you step by step as soon as the machine is switched on. With this said, if someone threw an AED at you and expected you to use it.... would you be confident that you could use it efficiently? After all, any task is difficult until you know how to do it! Especially when someone’s life is on the line!
As a first aid instructor myself, I have found that 99% of students on my course have little to no experience with Automated External Defibrillators, even if they have an AED in their work place. As AED training is part of KVF’s accredited first aid course, I have found that after expert guidance by our instructor and hands on experience with state of the art AED training units, all students have left the course fully confident in the use of Automated External Defibrillators, and were surprised how easy they are to use.
As motor trade Health and Safety specialists, our view is that if you work on Hybrid or Electric vehicles, then an AED should be available on site and sufficient numbers of staff trained in its operation; this view is backed up by HSE recommendations. No need to worry though, KVF Consultants are now able to provide Automated External Defibrillators units and accessories, servicing advice as well as up to date training from our qualified first aid expert. Get in touch with our specialist team for more information or advice on AEDs in your workplace!