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Heart Safe Communities | Heart safe community designation | Allina Health
For more about being Heart Safe, call call 651-241-4470
Sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. And it's almost always fatal.
That's why Allina Health launched Heart Safe Communities, an effort to prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest by placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) wherever people live, work and play.
Heart Safe Communities helps communities and organizations...
Heart Safe designation
Heart Safe designation recognizes a city or organization's efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond. Any municipality, county or organization can apply for Heart Safe designation. View Minnesota's Heart Safe designated communities.
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Automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
from right to left are: Hutchinson Allina Health EMS Supervisor Pat Egan, Heart Safe Communities Supervisor Katie Tewalt and Hutchinson Fire Lieutenant Randy Abelson
The Hutchinson Fire Department was granted two AEDs through the generous donation made to Heart Safe by Allina employees.
What is an automated external defibrillator?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small portable electronic device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and tells the user to deliver a defibrillation shock only if it is needed.
Unlike defibrillators used by health care professionals, AEDs are designed to allow trained non-professionals to respond to medical emergencies like sudden cardiac arrest. The devices are programmed to analyze the heart's electrical function. Voice prompts and screen displays explain how to attach electrodes onto the victim, then instruct users to stay clear while the AED analyzes his or her heart rhythm. AED/CPR Training
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are very accurate and will not shock someone who is not in cardiac arrest.
When used properly and with appropriate precautions, AEDs pose no risk to the rescuer or the patient.
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easy to use. AEDs have pictures and voice prompts to guide the user through the process. All you need to do is turn it on and follow the instructions.
AEDs are safe. They will only shock a person who requires it.
Organizations like Allina Health Heart Safe Communities offer classes that can provide more specific and detailed training on the AED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Police officers, firefighters, security officers, athletic trainers, flight attendants, lifeguards -- people who are often first on the scene when sudden cardiac arrest occurs -- often receive AED training and carry AEDs as part of their response kits.
Most experts agree that the benefits of prompt automated external defibrillator (AED) use outweigh the liability risks for three reasons:
Good Samaritan laws in all 50 states offer immunity for AED users who have completed the required training. For example, Minnesota State Statute 604A.01, subdivision 2, states that the non-professional user is exempt from civil liability.
Source: American Heart Association; Darren Boser, Lance Stephenson, A Heart for the Community: Public Access Defibrillation and the HeartSave Awareness Program, Access Medical Incorporated 2003; United States Food and Drug Administration
Reviewed by: Charles Lick, MD, medical director, Allina Health Emergency Medical Services
First Published: 05/06/2004
Last Reviewed: 10/13/2010
Purchase an AED for your community or organization
For more about buying AEDs,
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are safe and easy to use – even for the minimally trained person.
We are happy to help you purchase an for your business, community, facility or organization at a pace that is comfortable for you. Steps include:
The process for purchasing an AED from Heart Safe Communities may vary based on your needs. Some organizations spend a few days at each step; others spend a few months. Some groups combine several steps into one meeting; others take it one step at a time.
The Heart Safe Communities AED package includes:
Allina Health Heart Safe Communities is able to offer AED grants each year through the donations made by our employees during the Allina Health Community Giving Campaign. Our grants are currently closed, but please check back for upcoming grant information in the future.
The Minnesota AED Registry is a free AED maintenance tool that allows AED owners free online management of AEDs, AED battery and electrode expiration email reminders, notifications from manufacturer or government agencies and the ability to participate in the AED link system where available.
This maintenance book offers an overview of how to maintain your AED. Just find the picture of your AED and read the information that is specific to your AED.
This plan is a blue print for making your AED program successful. This document can be edited to fit your needs but provides a basic overview of where your AED is, what should be with your AED and who maintains your AED.
All AED manufacturers recommends a monthly check of your AED. This check list offers an easy way to reach those checks. Please refer to the AED maintenance book for information on how to check your AED for readiness.
I just replaced my AED's electrodes or batteries. Do I need to update this on the Minnesota AED Registry?
Yes. Follow these instructions:
For more on heart health, CPR, AEDs and other related topics, visit the websites below. Please note, Heart Safe Communities is not responsible for the content of the websites listed below.
American Heart Association