How to Find Your Nearest AED in Australia
An automated external defibrillator, or AED, is an essential piece of life-saving equipment. Used to restore normal rhythm to the heart when a person is in cardiac arrest, an AED can have a big impact on a patient’s chances of survival.
In order to help more people survive a cardiac arrest, and give members of the public access to this life-saving tool, AEDs have been installed in a number of locations across Australia. From hospitals and schools to gyms and shopping centres, these publicly available AEDs can help provide fast, effective treatment to a person suffering a cardiac arrest.
October 16th is Restart-a-Heart Day in Australia and New Zealand. To mark this important occasion, and to help raise awareness of the importance of AEDs, we’re taking a closer look at these important life-saving tools.
What is an AED?
An AED is used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm when a person is suffering a cardiac arrest. Unlike heart attacks, which are caused by a blockage in an artery to the heart, a cardiac arrest happens when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. This malfunction results in abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, that make it very difficult for the heart to pump blood.
The probability of survival decreases by 7% to 10% for every minute that a patient stays in a life-threatening arrhythmia. Quick, effective treatment is the best way to ensure a patient survives a cardiac arrest and isn’t left with long-term injuries.
AEDs allow members of the public, or nearby medical staff, to administer life saving treatment before an ambulance arrives. These computerised defibrillators automatically analyse heart rhythms and administer a shock if an abnormal rhythm is detected. As the process is automated, the person using the defibrillator doesn’t need any medical training in order to provide assistance. This can save vital minutes in a medical emergency and help more people to survive a cardiac arrest.
Where to find an AED in public places?
In order to help members of the public, or medical personal, provide quick treatment to people suffering a cardiac arrest, AEDs are located in public and private buildings across the country. While many AEDs are registered, a lot aren’t. So knowing how to find AED equipment is essential. You’ll commonly find AEDs in large buildings and public locations such as:
- Hospitals – commonly found on hospital wards and in outpatient areas
- Community centres – often located in the foyer or reception area
- Schools – in the staff room or school office
- Office blocks – in the reception area or foyer
- Sports clubs – in the reception area or office
- Gyms – commonly kept close to exercise equipment like treadmills
- Shopping centres – in central locations like information desks
- Public libraries – in the reception area
If you see someone having a cardiac arrest and are near one of these locations, they should be your first port of call when looking for an AED. When looking for an AED, keep your eyes peeled for an AED wall sign identifying its location. These signs should be installed next to every device to make them easier to find.
How to find my nearest AED?
There are a number of ways to find your nearest AED in Australia. One option is to head off on foot to one of the locations listed above. This can often be the quickest way of finding an AED.
However, as not all offices, schools, sports clubs and gyms will have an AED, there are no guarantees your search will be successful. What’s more, as access to many of these locations will only be possible during opening hours, you’ll have to double check your watch when looking for an AED.
The easiest way to find your nearest AED in Australia is to use the AED Locator app. Using the app to find AED machines close to you could save crucial minutes in an emergency.
The AED Locator app has been specifically designed to help members of the public locate an AED fast. It uses the GPS on your phone to find your location and match you with the nearest AED. The app features an interactive map that will help you find the AED as quickly as possible.
As well as helping you locate your nearest AED, the app allows you to report missing AEDs. This is incredibly important as a missing AED could put someone’s life at risk.
You can download the AED Locator app here.
Alternatively, you can find your nearest AED by checking the St John’s Ambulance website. This lets you view locations of nearby AEDs and also register an AED if you have one on your property. Click here to visit the St John’s ambulance site.
On October 16th, Australia and New Zealand will celebrate Restart a Heart Day. Taking place at the same time as Shocktober, an AED awareness campaign by Ambulance Victoria, the day will be used to promote information about cardiac arrests and teach people what to do if they see someone in distress.
Every year, around 34,000 Australians and New Zealanders suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. After 10 minutes without intervention, the damage caused by cardiac arrest is nearly irreversible. If you know how to find an AED
and what to do when someone has a cardiac arrest, you could significantly boost their chances of survival.
To mark Restart-a-Heart Day, we’ll be offering 5% off of AEDs for the remainder of October. Use code: RESTARTHEART5 at the checkout. Find out more, and learn about the AEDs and other life saving products we offer, by exploring the Medshop site today.