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AEDs Save Lives

It’s a scene you see in TV shows and movies – and one you never want to see in real life. Someone’s heart suddenly stops and they collapse to the ground. 

Unfortunately, this scene played out in front of millions when Damar Hamlin from the Buffalo Bills unexpectedly collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest during a football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January 2023. Experts agree the immediate use of CPR and an AED (automated external defibrillator) on the field helped save his life, and in the weeks that followed there was a significant uptick in CPR and AED training.

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that there are more than 356,000 sudden cardiac arrests annually and nearly 90% are fatal. That is why a fast response with CPR and an AED can be crucial and vital to recovery. In fact, research shows that survival rates can double when AEDs are available in public spaces, including work buildings and offices.

“We estimate that about 1,700 lives are saved in the United States per year by bystanders using an AED,” said senior study author Myron Weisfeldt, M.D. “Unfortunately, not enough Americans know to look for AEDs in public locations, nor are they trained on how to use them despite great and effective efforts of the American Heart Association.”

Combining CPR with AEDs can help recovery rates even more. Get the facts about cardiac arrest with the training and tools that can help save a life.


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What is Cardiac Arrest?
Before you can provide aid during cardiac arrest, it’s important to understand what it is.

An electrical system controls your heartbeat. A signal is sent through the heart to make it contract and pump blood to the rest of your body. Sometimes, the electrical system can malfunction. When that happens, your heartbeat may begin to beat abnormally – too fast or too slow. Sometimes, the malfunction causes your heart to stop beating. This is cardiac arrest

It's important to note that a heart attack and cardiac arrest are not the same thing. During cardiac arrest, a person loses consciousness (faints), and there is no heartbeat. During a heart attack, the heart does continue to beat, and the individual doesn’t lose consciousness. (Learn more about the symptoms of a heart attack.) It is not necessary to use an AED or provide CPR to someone that is having a heart attack – unless their heart stops beating.

Responding to Cardiac Arrest
Because the heart has stopped, cardiac arrest can be fatal within minutes. Knowing CPR and having access to an AED can improve those odds. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) has identified six links in improving survival in adults during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest:
Recognize cardiac arrest and activate emergency response systems (call 911, locate AEDs) 
Begin early CPR
Rapid use of an AED
Advanced resuscitation by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or other healthcare providers
Post-cardiac arrest care (in a hospital)
Recovery (hospital treatment, rehab, psychological support)

Using an AED and administering CPR may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually easier than you may realize. It can also make all the difference for one person and their loved ones.

Get Started with the Right Emergency Equipment
AEDs can deliver a life-saving shock to help restart a heart in cardiac arrest. Some models also offer additional features, such as LED screens that provide step-by-step instruction on using the AED to help bystanders respond in an emergency situation. 

Prepare Employees with Trusted Training
While AEDs are simple to use, it’s still important for employees to receive proper training on how to use these devices. Many AED training courses also include CPR instruction. Cintas is the largest national provider of American Heart Association CPR and AED training. 

During training, a certified instructor will cover several topics that provide life-saving skills, including:
Determining when to provide CPR
Hands-on practice conducting adult CPR
Quick and effective use of an AED

About Cintas and OMNIA Partners 

Together, Cintas and OMNIA Partners offer Enterprise and Corporate organizations the ability to purchase world-class facility solutions with ease. Cintas Corporation helps more than one million businesses of all types and sizes get ready™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing a wide range of products and services that enhance their image and help keep their facilities and employees clean, safe and looking their best. With products and services including uniforms, mats, mops, restroom supplies, first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers and testing, and training and compliance courses, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday®.