[From the American Heart Association News]
Most U.S. employees are not prepared for cardiac emergencies at work, according to new surveys of employees and workplace safety managers. There are about 10,000 cardiac arrests in the workplace each year in the United States, according to a report from the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
Workplaces are doing a better job promoting heart health through smoking cessation, gym memberships and healthier foods, said Peter Fromm, R.N., administrator at the South Nassau Communities Hospital Center for Cardiovascular Health in Oceanside, New York. But it’s time workplaces also prepare to save the lives of employees and customers, he said.
Among 2,000 employees in corporate offices, hospitality, education and industry/labor:
- Fifty-five percent can’t get first aid or CPR and AED training from their employer.
- If training is available, it’s often either CPR or first aid, not both.
- Half of all U.S. workers cannot locate an AED at work.
- In the hospitality industry, 66 percent of employees cannot locate an AED.
First aid training teaches people to provide comfort and reduce the likelihood of further injury, Fromm said. When the heart stops, CPR is needed to pump oxygen-rich blood to the brain, lungs and other vital organs. An AED can then be used to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm. Training familiarizes people with AEDs, but the devices themselves are “practically foolproof,” he said.
Considering people spend a third of their lives at work, learning to treat an injury or save a life makes sense, Fromm said.
“Don’t you owe it [to coworkers and customers] to know what to do if something happens to them, especially a cardiac arrest?” he said.
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