Defibrillators are a life-saving product and they are most successful when easily accessible. For that reason it is common to find an AED where you find a lot of people. If you haven't already noticed them, take a look around and you will find them in your local airport, shopping centres, cinemas, coffee shops and even on some streets. The accessibility of AEDs in public areas was perfectly encapsulated by Emergency Room Doctor, Bryan Bledsoe, in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article: "The safest place in America to suffer sudden cardiac arrest is a casino."
Should you need to find an AED, there are now several mobile applications that will direct you to the closest. Internal and external AED cabinets come in different shapes and sizes, all have details and iconography on there to make them stand out. Thanks to the rapid growth in AED technology, no medical background is needed to use them and provide life-saving care. Most of the modern AEDs will provide step-by-step instructions through text, images and spoken word.
Large scale multiple casualty incidents such as the Manchester Arena attack rightfully capture the nation's attention. However, smaller MCI (mass casualty incidents) are much more common and can go unnoticed. Haemorrhage is the second leading cause of death for individuals injured in the pre-hospital environment. This accounts for a massive 30-40% of all mortality.
Immediate responders to uncontrolled bleeding will attempt to stop the bleeding with improvised means to the best of their knowledge. However, this would only be successful if the wounds are minor and help arrives quickly. So, without the correct equipment and a rapid response from the emergency services many lives are lost.
The recently established charity CitizenAID was set up to educate the public what to do in an emergency situation. Using easy to follow pocket guides and mobile apps that they have developed. They want to inform as many people as possible, as people save lives. They state 'Those first 5 minutes count, they make the difference, you make the difference. You can save lives'
Bleed Control Kits in the AED cabinets?
Considering the widespread infrastructure of AEDs placed around the country in protected cabinets, there is the opportunity to use this space to store other life-saving equipment. Wouldn't it be better, should a life threatening situation occur, that people at the scene could search for the closest AED cabinet knowing that it will also include a haemorrhage control kit to help deal with trauma and bleeding?
A bystanders application of a tourniquet or trauma bandage to stop the bleeding, could mean the difference between life and death for a patient with severe haemorrhage.
It is now down to everyone to try and get an emergency strategy implemented across the board. Give the people who are willing to help at the scene the right tools, and lives will be saved. If you want to be one of first to roll this out, we can help. We can provide bespoke haemorrhage control kits designed to your specifications and you can place them alongside your AEDs. The more people take this on and get behind it, the safer we are!