KE Staff Receives AED Training

As an engineering firm, we’re always thinking about safety. Our engineers design systems to keep both buildings and occupants safe in case of an emergency—with things like fire alarms, fire sprinklers, back-up generators, and redundant power systems.

But some emergencies have nothing to do with the building. Rather, they have to do with a person’s bodily “electrical system.” That’s why Karpinski Engineering has extended its safety measures: We installed two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at our Cleveland office and had a staff training session with The American Red Cross so that all of us know how to take action in case of an emergency.

What are AEDs?

They’re basically a device that can check a person’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock to attempt to put the heart back in rhythm. (Read more.)

Why would I need an AED?

Simply put: To save the life of someone whose heart has stopped beating.

Our American Red Cross trainer, Leslie Harris, gave this analogy: Your heart has a plumbing system that circulates blood, and an electrical system that keeps your heart beating.

When a person has a heart attack, they’re experiencing problems with their plumbing system. They have reduced blood flow to their heart. They may feel pain in their chest, have shortness of breath, feel nausea or lightheadedness, or experience cold sweats. They may also feel pain in other areas of the body, such as through the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, stomach or back. (Source: CDC)

When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart either has stopped beating or isn’t beating effectively. Blood stops flowing to their brain and other organs. Their body’s electrical system is down, and we need to get it up and running again. That’s where an AED comes in.

What difference does having an AED make?

It can make the difference between life and death.

According to the American Heart Association, “Immediate treatment is essential to survival of cardiac arrest. The problem isn't whether cardiac arrest can be reversed but reaching the victim in time to do so.“ (Source.)

“Cardiac arrest may be reversed if CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is performed and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes” (Source.)

Because a fast response time is essential, having AEDs available (and people trained to use them) can increase a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest.

How can I learn more?

If you want to learn more, we recommend you contact the The American Red Cross.

You can also check out this fact sheet from the American Heart Association to learn more about what AEDs are and how they work.

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