Two recent press releases by the AHA support Sports Medicine Concepts’ long held belief that all athletic trainers should have an AED WITH THEM on the sidelines at ALL TIMES. According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, patients who received AED shock therapy from a bystander prior to the arrival of EMS had a significantly greater chance of survival and recovery without impairment relative to those who received AED shock therapy after an average 4-10 min delay caused by EMS response time. This is not news to most of us, but it does demonstrate how devastating a delay in AED shock therapy can be. There is a 10% reduction in chance of survival for every minute AED shock therapy is delayed. If ATs are relying on wall mounted units rather than AEDs right on the sideline, there will be a significant and unnecessary delay in delivery of AED shock therapy relative to having a unit with them on the sideline. Furthermore, two recent AHA surveys found that more than half of workplace workers were unable to locate public access AEDs. This means that ATs who send a co-worker to retrieve an AED while they initiate high quality CPR may experience significant delays in the delivery of AED shock therapy because coworkers will likely have trouble remembering where the AED units are located, particularly in an emergency.
So what does this mean for ATs?
First, relaying on public access AEDs is not the most effective strategy to incorporate into an emergency action plan. ATs should have a dedicated AED that is on the sideline with the rest of their emergency response equipment. Second, if a dedicated AED for the AT is not possible, ATs should ensure that a wall mounted AED is as close to each sporting venue as possible. And, finally, ATs must establish an emergency action plan that involves training to ensure that appropriate personnel know exactly where the AEDs are located and that they can be accessed quickly. Remember, a 2 min or greater delay in shock therapy is a real possibility that would result in a 20% or more reduction in the chance of survival! It is hard to justify accepting such a risk when prevention measures can be so readily implemented. SMC’s In 2Min or Less!® competencies require an emergency action plan that results in the first shock from an AED being delivered within 2 Min or Less!® of collapse.
For more information regarding emergency action planning, visit www.TeamEMSoft.com today. Visit Sports Medicine Concepts today to learn more about scheduling elite In 2Min or Less® sports emergency care training.