One statistic everyone should know is that the majority of sudden cardiac arrests (SCAs) and SCA deaths happen in the home. Under normal circumstances, this number can be as high as 80% of all SCA deaths. However, with so many people more at home due to COVID-19, this number may climb even higher during the pandemic. Fortunately, there is something you can do about this!
Why Do SCA Deaths Happen at Home?
Unlike at the office, shopping centre, gym or school, there is no policy for First Aid preparedness at the home. Most places of work or leisure train their staff members on how to identify and treat an SCA when it occurs using bystander CPR, and they usually have an automated external defibrillator (AED)andFirst Aid kit onsite. This means that when an SCA occurs, staff can quickly take action in the critical window before emergency services arrive.
At home, the situation is very different. Few people even have basic First Aid kits or bystander CPR training, and even fewer have an AED or know how to operate one. Because immediate bystander CPR and the use of an AED is the only way to effectively treat SCA, a life can easily be lost when an SCA occurs in the home.
COVID-19 and Reducing SCA Risk in the Home
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are staying home or working from home to reduce the spread of the virus. This is important to maintain, especially for people who are categorised as high-risk, like those who have underlying health conditions. This includes people who have had previous heart conditions, have current heart health issues or suffer from heart disease.
These people are also high-risk for SCA and, while they are isolated at home, they are far away from the critical assistance and AEDs located in office buildings, gyms and shopping centres that could assist them in the event of an emergency.
Due to the pandemic, emergency responders are also under a lot of pressure responding to COVID-19 calls along with other emergencies, so response times may be slower. Remember, a person who has had an SCA needs to receive bystander CPR immediately and a shock to restart their heart within 3-5 minutes in order to give them the best chance for survival and limit organ damage. It’s unlikely any ambulance can respond that quickly! That means that it’s up to all of us to take an active role in saving lives.
Bringing an AED and Bystander CPR Training to Your Community
During a crisis like this one, communities have an important role to play in the care and wellbeing of others. Just like we wear masks and socially distance in order to protect the vulnerable, so we can help prevent SCA deaths within our communities. In order to deliver life-saving treatment to family members, children and neighbours who are high-risk, it is a good idea to invest together in an AED for your Body Corporate, apartment building or home.
AEDs are defibrillators that are designed for ease of use, and can be used effectively even if you’ve had no medical or First Aid training, making them ideal for use in the home. They are safe to use on adults and children too. By using an automated process, this type of defibrillator will monitor heart rhythm, determine the best time to supply the shock, and even supply the shock automatically. All user instructions are delivered with voice prompts and visual diagrams, so you know exactly what to do and when to do it.
At DefibsPlus, we supply semi-automatic and fully automatic AEDs from leading brands throughout Australia, as well as supplying parts, First Aid kits, AED storage units and more. Our team is passionate about saving lives during the COVID-19 crisis by empowering communities to act quickly and effectively in the event of an SCA. Through our HeartSmart program, we’ll teach you and your community how to recognise an SCA, how to use an AED properly and how to perform bystander CPR in line with COVID-19 safety protocols.
To find out more about our affordable defibrillators and how they work, please contact our team today.
Together, we can save lives!