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25th January 2017

Awareness training in the use of automated external defibrillator (AEDs)

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device which automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It can treat the patient through defibrillation which involves the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

Defibrillator use training

Training in the use of AEDs doesn’t currently form part of the First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) training course syllabuses. However, the Health & Safety Executive has welcomed First Aid trainers to include awareness training whilst delivering FAW and EFAW courses, to instil greater confidence in the use of AEDs.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) regulations 1981 do not make it compulsory for employers to purchase AEDs. However, if your First Aid risk assessment identifies an AED need, then it is recommended that First Aid staff should be fully trained in its use.

The Resuscitation Council UK guidance on AEDs is that this equipment is safe to use and can be readily used by untrained bystanders.

AEDs are becoming more commonplace in both businesses and community services. National strategies have been put in place to promote their placement in schools and other public places. Evidence suggests that where AEDs have been used, the outcomes are far more favourable for an individual who suffers from a heart attack than if it is delayed until the arrival of the emergency services.

With effect from January 2017, all of Lighthouse’s FAW and EFAW will include awareness training in the use of AEDs. Click here for more information on course content, or contact the office on 0845 459 1724 to book your course.

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