- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

When minutes matter

Take a look at these staggering statistics:

When a patient is in cardiac arrest, their survival rate is as high as 70% when they are reached within the first three minutes. For each minute of delay after that the victims chance of survival decreases by 10%. After ten minutes their chance for survival is merely 5%.

Because just a few seconds could be the difference between life and death, many facilities are including automated external defibrillators (AED) in their outpatient phlebotomy drawing area for quick, easy access in the case of an emergency.

It even goes beyond safety, into the legal field. Courts are beginning to hold facilities legally responsible to have AED’s as a “required standard of care.” Organizations may be liable for negligence if AED’s are not readily accessible or employees are not trained. And once you start dealing with lawyers, you can bet those minutes get expensive, fast.

From an OSHA standpoint, AEDs are not mandatory, but are highly encouraged in workplaces, according to Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program [1].