Something You Should Know: Where the closest AED is located
Henrietta, N.Y. (WHAM) - There is an automated external defibrillator here at the 13WHAM offices. But when I asked several colleagues in the newsroom, none knew where it was.
I’m not picking on them – they’re not alone. But since AEDs can and do save lives, it’s a good idea to take ten seconds and learn where the machines are in your workplace.
It’s also worth making it a habit to locate them as you enter any building. Just look for the signs.
A mom from Henrietta knows better than most how important these machines are.
Cary Brown, 44, suffered cardiac arrest at her workplace, Your Care Health Plan, last October. It certainly helped that co-workers Donna Buduson, Jennifer Isaac and Lisa Cordy are all nurses. Their quick action, including using the AED, saved Cary’s life.
But you need not be a health care professional to use an AED. They talk to the user, giving step-by-step instruction on where to place the pads, when to deliver a shock, if and when to administer chest compressions, and when to stop.
Brown remembers feeling tired on that day last October, but being a mother of two with a busy job, that fatigue didn’t seem out of the ordinary. That changed when she stopped by to check in with her boss before leaving for the day. In a matter of minutes, Brown went from tired to unconscious. Her boss called out for help and the first to arrive was Buduson, who quickly determined Brown had stopped breathing and had no pulse.
Buduson directed Isaac to get the AED, but didn’t wait to start CPR. With help from Isaac and Cordy, the pads were attached and the AED instructed that the patient, Brown, needed to be shocked. The AED pauses the rhythm of the heart and allows it to reset to start again. CPR was continued until the machine instructed that another shock was needed.
By the time an ambulance crew arrived 24 minutes after a call to 911, Cary’s life had already been saved, by co-workers, and the AED.
“I think I'm here and I thank these women because my children need me still, says Brown, who has a 23 year-old daughter and 14 year-old son. “It's still really emotional for me when I put it into perspective that I very easily might not be here right now and knowing that there's a reason I'm here.”
For Buduson, first to come to Cary’s aid, there’s little doubt that the AED saved a life that day.
“We would not have had a good outcome at all,” Buduson told 13 WHAM.
Kim Hess, Chief Operating Officer at Your Care Health Plan, says there are AEDs on every floor of the company’s Pittsford office.
“We train employees to use AEDS,” Hess says. “And you hope you never have to use them but when you do, you're very thankful that you have them.”
Brown, diagnosed with a genetic heart condition, now has an implanted device: a combination pacemaker and defibrillator. She calls it her insurance policy. She also has a new, unbreakable bond with three co-workers, women she’d never met until the day they saved her life.
Now, where is the AED at your workplace?