Family 411 - AED Training

Family 411 - AED Training

More than 350,000 people will suffer from cardiac arrest this year, according the American Red Cross.

That is why some are pushing for more training and access to AED devices, also known as automated external defibrillators.

Siouxland News Family 411 reporter Lu Ann Stoia tells us more about how an easy-to-operate tool is being used to save many lives.

School nurse Midge Cull credits an AED for giving her the chance to do the extraordinary.

“You have the ability to save someone's life,” said Cull.

A normal day in the classroom changed quickly when teacher Jim Pena collapsed from a cardiac arrest.

Cull brought Pena back to life, with the help of an AED.

“From what I understand, the type of thing I had, without the AED machine, I wouldn't have survived anyway because my heart had stopped beating,” said Pena.

Paramedics say an AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest.

They say it's an easy-to-operate tool, even for someone with no medical background.

“The AED walks you through step-by-step of what you need to do,” said Robert Kelley, a Paramedic and EMS Instructor.

Kelley says to check the picture with the AED, and you’ll figure out where to place the patches on the patient's body.

Kelley says you should make sure the area is clear and nobody is touching the patient.

“The AED is designed not to shock somebody that is not in a cardiac arrest rhythm,” said Kelley.

Kelley says federal laws protect “Good Samaritans” from any liability as they work to save a life.

“It's always better to try to help somebody else in need,” said Kelley. “For every minute that CPR is not done to somebody in sudden cardiac arrest, they have a ten percent less chance of survival.”

After teaching for 39-years in the classroom, Jim Pena says he was the one who learned that AED devices can make a life-and-death difference.

“You would want someone to do it for your child, or for you, or for your wife, or husband, so why not do that for other people also?” said Pena.

The Red Cross advocates for all Americans to be able to be within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.

Look for training in your community through the local fire department or the Red Cross.

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