You’re out on a stroll in the park when you see a jogger sudden stop and collapse to the ground.
You check the victim for vitals and realize his heart has stopped beating. Time is of the essence to start CPR and retrieve an AED. Bystanders watch as you begin CPR, but they have no frame of reference for where to retrieve an AED when you call for one.
How do you locate an AED in a public place? Where can you find an AED device?
Automated External Defibrillators, or AED’s, are the crucial life-saving tool needed in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest event. It is the device is that delivers the needed shock to restart a victim’s heart.
But in order to do so, you have to know where one is.
In the tech-driven world we live in, finding an AED can in some cases be as simple as launching an app on your smart phone!
Identifying an AED
In public places, AED’s are usually found in white cabinets with red lettering mark it’s location.
Most AED’s are marked with the standard red heart with the lightening symbol running through it, as seen below. This is universal across all cabinets and helps direct your attention.
Using your smartphone to find an AED
In today’s world, common tasks now “have an app for that”. And locating an AED is one of them.
Several apps exist to create a registry of AEDs across the country and make it easy to find an AED in a moment’s notice through their seamless app.
Two specific apps working to this aim also equip you with life saving skills: PulsePoint and Staying Alive.
Both are available on iOS and Android.
Designed to put AEDs into action, PulsePoint has two unique apps that help not only locate the nearest AED but provide instruction for use and put out a call for help.
Through the app PulsePoint AED, users can snap photos of AEDs in their community and add them to a nationwide map to be a part of registry.
When a user launches the app, it immediately shows them the nearest AED, sometimes within walking distance. The app does require location services to work, however.
Step by step instructions for use of an AED is great added feature to the app. The instructions are easy to follow and simple so that even an untrained individual could use the AED.
To date, over 92,000 AEDs are registered within their system.
When we opened the app here in Morton (IL), it immediately showed us three AED’s that were within immediate walking distance.
It also provided exact locations of the AEDs within that public space. The app has the capability to show you a picture of the AED and where it is located, if available.
Their second app, PulsePoint Respond, is designed to work with local EMS/Fire Departments and connects directly to the response service calls.
When a call goes out for a cardiac arrest, trained users within the immediate proximity of the victim receive an alert on their phone to respond. If they accept, the app will show the them location of the victim and the nearest AED, allowing them to respond and save time while waiting for EMS.
To be a part of this PulsePoint Respond community of super-heart-heroes, your community must be a PulsePoint community. Presently, they are working in expanding into more and more communities.
When we registered here in Morton (IL), it gave us a notice that Morton was not presently a connected community.
Created by AEDMap to made available to all, this app makes use of the for-profit company’s database of AED locations for FREE. The app currently has over 166,000 AEDs registered within its database worldwide and freely available to all to access.
The app uses the location services on your phone to immediately find the nearest AED once launching the app, and tells you the exact location where you can find the AED once entering the public place.
Unlike PulsePoint whose responder portion is in a separate app, Staying Alive integrates step-by-step aid right into the app.
So not only can you find an AED, but with the press of a button, it walks you through using the AED, and even provides a metronome for CPR.
Their Citizen Responder feature also connects to local EMS response calls, but is presently only available internationally.
When we launched the app, it took us to a map of ten AEDs, but all were in a nearby town called Bloomington, which is roughly 30miles away. Because the app is international, they do not have as strong as a following in the U.S. so there may not be AEDs showing in your area.
These apps are just one more way you can be a prepared bystander in the event of an emergency!
Ready to learn CPR? Or the use of an AED? Check out our resources below: