World Heart Day 2022: Defibrillators
Awareness of the importance of defibrillators has become much more prevalent in our society. So much so that they have been placed around the country in useful places. The university has Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available on all our campuses.
Why have AEDs?
Portable AEDs are lightweight devices that are relatively easy to operate and are intended for use in emergency situations. They can be used when a casualty has a serious cardiac rhythm disturbance causing unconsciousness, such as a heart attack. AEDs are not effective for all cardiac emergencies, but they are of benefit in a small proportion of acute emergencies.
An AED acts to correct abnormal heart rhythms by applying an electric shock to the chest. It detects the electrical activity of the heart and gives automated instructions to the operator on what to do. The automatic diagnostic sequence ensures that they will only operate under appropriate circumstances thus preventing their incorrect use. The quicker lifesaving first aid and a defibrillator are used on a casualty, the better the outlook for survival. The Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines strongly promote the availability of AEDs and the fact they can be operated by any person is widely publicised.
Is an AED difficult to use?
The type of AED installed by the University has been chosen as a type that is suitable for any person to use. It will not apply an electric shock to a casualty unless it is appropriate. At every stage the equipment talks to the user, instructing them on what to do. Whilst many First Aiders have also received additional training in the use of AEDs, training is not a pre-requisite for use.
Do you know where they are situated?
AEDs are provided by the University at the following points:
- Merchiston Campus: adjacent to disabled toilets – bottom of stairs
- Sighthill Campus: left of reception outside lift
- Craiglockhart Campus: left of the reception desk
In addition to the above locations, AEDs are also located in several other areas throughout the University.
- [EN]GAGE, Sports Centre, Sighthill Campus – located behind the reception desk
- School of Applied Sciences, Sighthill Campus – outside room 3.C.13
- School of Applied Sciences, Sports Centre, Sighthill Campus – 0.F.07
Should an emergency occur and you are using the AED, ask someone else to contact (0131) 455 4444 (Security Control available 24/7) giving precise details of the location – building, floor and room number and they will call for an ambulance. If you are alone with the casualty, you will need to do this yourself.
If you wish to familiarize yourself with some common first aid techniques, there are books available in the library for you to read:
First aid manual: the authorised manual of St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross.
Written By Vivienne Hamilton
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