Do you know where to find your nearest AED?

12 May 2014

Knowing the location of your nearest AED can save lives

by Heart Saver NZ

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that's used in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA); if required, the AED will send electric shocks to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are becoming more readily available to the New Zealand public and can now be found in some busy public places such as malls.

A couple of years ago in Auckland, three cardiac arrests occurred in buildings were AEDs were available but were not used due to lack of signage.

When faced by an emergency such as SCA, we enter crisis mode and become task fixated and lose situational awareness (Pierre, Hofinger & Buerschaper, 2008).

Easy-to-read signage must be clearly visible; signage acts as a visual clue which is seen regularly and is stored by the viewer for later use.

If you witnessed a person go into cardiac arrest, what would you do? Do YOU know where to find your nearest AED?

Recognising this need, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) launched a nation-wide contest to make AEDs more noticeable. Rather than using pro-designers, Penn has turned to the public for two reasons;

  1. to get the public thinking about how to make AEDs more noticeable and memorable, and
  2. increasing AED awareness through the process of coming up with designs, entrants may actually start to notice where AEDs are located. The image used for this article is one of the many entrants.

To make locating AEDs easier here in New Zealand, Abletech NZ has created app 'AED Locations' which is free for public use and is designed to help the user find the closest available AED in accordance to their location. To read more or to download the 'AED Locations' app, please see their website here.

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Having an AED on-site could be the best decision you ever make for you, your team and community.
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