Even though an AED has been proven highly beneficial, both the advantages and disadvantages tend to vary depending on the setting where it is used. An AED is a highly effective device that is utilized in treating heart problems before the medical team arrives but it can also be impractical in some applications. Take note that the use of AEDs is encouraged by the government but the obligatory laws vary from one state to another.
What is sudden cardiac arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest is best described as a condition in which the heart abruptly stops beating. This occurs once the electrical activity in the heart is disrupted and the heartbeat is rapid. The change in the rhythm will interrupt the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively, thus not enough blood is pumped to the vital organs and the brain. Sudden cardiac arrest can be treated with a shock from an AED.
Symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest
If an individual experiences sudden cardiac arrest, the heart ceases to pump blood and could no longer supply the body. There is immediate loss of consciousness and the individual could not be aroused. He/she will either fall or collapse and there is no pulse and breathing.
Due to the importance given to CPR education and the use of AED and early activation of emergency assistance, it has drastically increased the survival rates. Unfortunately, the brain is sensitive once there is lack of oxygen and blood flow, unless the appropriate treatment is delivered within 4-6 minutes, the individual is at high risk for permanent brain damage.
Public use of AEDs
AEDs are readily available in public venues and industrial sectors to allow easy accessibility to the public. There are laws regarding the assignment of AEDs in public venues but it varies from state to state. The devices are regularly used by emergency service personnel and have been proven to save lives. Additionally, AEDs can also be used in children as young as 8 years old with a weight at least 55 pounds.
In laws passed, the use of AEDs in private homes is considered equally effective just like those used in public venues. Understandably, based on the laws, AEDs that are on hand in homes can drastically save time before the medical team arrives. Today, there are many home-use AEDs offered by different companies that have been proven to save lives.
Disadvantages of AEDs
Even though the advantages of AEDs have been documented, there are still critics on the private use AEDs. Based on studies conducted, there is not enough evidence that states out that AEDs used at home are effective.
Homeowners will simply delay calling for emergency assistance if they have an AED at home. This can adversely affect the chances of survival of the individual. Other possible issues that can be considered as a drawback with home-use AED is the expiration of the AED parts and there is likelihood that the homeowners will forget where they placed the device or even how to operate it.