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Heart Safe Communities
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'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 in Minnesota or western Wisconsin can apply for Heart Safe designation. View Minnesota's Heart Safe designated communities.
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Automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
Charles Lick, MD, of Heart Safe Communities, holds an automated external defibrillator (AED) from the program he helped start.
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.
The United States Food and Drug Administration requires AED labeling to indicate that the device should only be used by trained individuals.
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:
When you purchase AEDs from Heart Safe Communities, you receive special rates on these training options:
CPR Anytime Course
Heart Safe Communities is proud to announce the 12 AED Grantees for this year:
Other AED grant resources are: Mdewakanton Emergency Services Life Program, AED Grant.com and PoliceGrantsHelp.
The Atrus National AED Registry lets participating 911 agency dispatchers know where automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are located so they can be found and used quickly when needed. This free resource also makes it easy for organizations with AEDs to comply with AED notification and registration laws and better maintain AEDs. For more about the National AED Registration, go to nationalaedregistry.com.
How do I register an AED?
Follow these instructions:
I just replaced my AED's electrodes or batteries. Do I need to update this on the National Registry?
Yes. Follow these instructions:
What if I am no longer the site manager for the AEDs?
The site manager's role can easily be transferred to any of the inspectors that are listed on your site.
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