On any given Sunday parishioners in Anytown, USA, are only expecting an inspirational service. From choral singing inspiring sermons, the idea that a fellow member would experience cardiac arrest is the furthest thing from your mind.
According to the American Heart Association, “Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. It is a leading cause of death” Numbers show that over 350,000 people in the United States perish because of cardiac arrest.
Acting quickly and decisively can increase the chance of saving the life of the ill or injured person. If you are not prepared, the situation will deteriorate quickly.
Is there a plan?
Churches must develop a simple strategy plan on what to do if a parishioner is ill, injured, or suspected of suffering cardiac arrest. Is there a process to call 9-1-1? Are there trained medical professionals? Are laypersons certified to perform first aid, CPR, and AED functions?
Where is the AED and First Aid Kit?
Having an AED, or Automated External Defibrillator easily accessible in your church will prove invaluable. According to an article published in the the National Library of Medicine, the average response time for EMS response is 7 minutes. Being able to get a team in action to retrieve these items is critical. Wasted time and wasted process diminish the chances of survival. Keep the first aid kit stocked and the AED easily accessible!
Be responsible. Take the time to have the conversation with leadership. Develop a core group of CPR, First Aid, and AED trained members. If they are not trained, get CPR, First Aid and AED training scheduled at your church immediately. Find out who in the church works in a medical capacity. Leverage their skills to be prepared.
Every church must have access to an AED. If your church does not have one, get one!
Contact your church's insurance carrier and make sure that you are mandated/or not mandated to have an AED onsite. Ask questions. This is a highly litigious environment and being liable in an emergency situation is not a road that needs to be traveled.
Be a prepared church. Your members will appreciate you for it!
CPR Ready GA offers individual, corporate, church training in CPR, First Aid, AED, BLS, and Active Shooter Curriculum. We can provide consultation and sales in emergency medical equipment.
For classes and general information visit www.cprready.net or contact (770) 765-0023