Did you know that every day thousands of people suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Would you know what to do if this were happening to someone near you? If you see someone collapse suddenly, check if the victim is responsive. If not, remember these three easy steps.
- Call 911. Have them send help. Stay on the line and wait for further instructions.
- Chest Compressions. If the person is not breathing normally, start chest compressions. Push down hard and fast in the center of the chest. Keep your arms straight. Send someone to find an automatic electronic defibrillator (AED).
- Use an AED. The AED is a portable medical device that delivers an electrical shock to restart a person’s heart. A built-in computer checks a victim’s heart rhythm through adhesive electrodes. The computer calculates whether defibrillation is needed. It provides voice prompts that tell you exactly what to do and will only administer a shock if needed, so there’s no reason to hesitate.
The Bedford Board of Health manages AEDs located in the 4 public schools, Town Hall, Town Center, the Library and the DPW building. Bedford Public Safety vehicles also carry AEDs and many businesses in town have them as well. The AEDs talk you though the steps for use and will only administer a shock if needed. You can visit the Bedford Board of Health website at bedfordma.gov/boh for a listing of AEDs managed by them and their locations.
Wouldn’t you like to know how to help your friend, neighbor, co-worker or someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest? You can get trained in CPR and use of an AED. The process for CPR has been significantly simplified and may have changed since you last learned the steps. For more information on CPR and AED training opportunities contact the American Red Cross at redcross.org.
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