Awareness training in automated external defibrillators

In-depth training in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is not currently part of either the Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work courses.  However, HSE welcomes the presence of awareness training in these courses as it instils greater confidence in the use of AEDs. 

It is not compulsory for employers to purchase AEDs to comply with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) regulations 1981.  However, if your needs assessment identifies an AED need then we recommend your staff should be fully trained in its use.

The Resuscitation Council UK guidance on AEDs is that this equipment is safe to use and can be readily used by untrained bystanders. 

AEDs are becoming more prevalent within the wider community.  For example there are national strategies in place actively promoting their placement in schools; public places such as stations.  Many workplaces have voluntarily invested in this equipment. 

Evidence suggests that where AEDs have been used the outcomes are far more favourable for an individual who suffers from a cardiac arrest than if it is delayed until the arrival of the emergency services.

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