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Automated External Defibrillator Program

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are a proven method of reducing morbidity and mortality from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). An AED is a device that attaches to a victim’s chest to assess the heart’s rhythm and, if needed, automatically recommends whether or not a shock is delivered to correct the heart’s rhythm.

An adult who has just gone into sudden cardiac arrest (i.e., cessation of a heartbeat, most commonly due to a heat attack) is most likely in urgent need of defibrillation and a metered electrical change can often restore the heart to a healthy function and save a life. To provide a realistic chance of survival, defibrillation must be available soon after cardiac arrest.

The Department of Commerce - Herbert C. Hoover (DOC-HCHB) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Program includes:

Locating an AED at selected locations throughout the building;

  • Enrolling and training DOC employees to use the AED devices; and
  • Inspecting and maintaining the AED devices.

The AED Program will enable DOC employees or the public who are trained in first aid/CPR/AED to deliver early defibrillation to victims in the first critical moments after a sudden cardiac arrest. Responders’ use of the AED should not replace the care provided emergency medical services (EMS) providers, but it is meant to provide a lifesaving bridge during the first few critical minutes it takes for advanced life support provider to arrive. Upon arrival of the EMS providers, the patient’s care should be transferred.

Program Administration

The Director of the DOC’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health (OOSH) acts as the administrator of the DOC-HCHB AED program and is responsible for:

Assisting in coordinating AED initial and refresher training offerings and in their efforts to ensure that certified employees are notified of certification expirations:

  • Ensuring the regular inspecting and maintaining all equipment and supplies for all AED.
  • Ensuring the collection of any incident data and holding post-incident debriefing sessions for any employees involved.

AED Locations EMS Activation

A copy of locations of the DOC-HCHB AEDs can be obtained from OOSH. In the event of a medical emergency involving a cardiac arrest victim, an AED-trained individual will transport the AED to the scene or call for another person to bring the AED to the scene. The operator or co-worker should always call for emergency medical personnel by calling “2-2222". All DOC-HCHB AEDs within the building are located near the stair wells from the second to the seventh floors at the intersection of the 8th and 2nd corridors, the 8th and 6th corridors, the 0 and 4th corridors. They are also located near the guard stations at the Reagan tunnel, security office, and at South-west and North-west entrances to the HCHB. They are located in the basement near the 0 and 4th corridor by the cafeteria entrance, on the first floor in the Emergency Operations Center, on the first floor at the intersection of the 0 and 6th corridors, and on the second floor outside of the fitness center. Efforts to familiarize all employees at the department on this program and the location of AEDs may be periodically delivered through broadcast-e-mail and/or written notices.

AED Operators and Training

Only those who have been trained in the use of AEDs are permitted to use them in emergency situations. Currently, all AED-trained employees within HCHB are volunteers except for the Health Unit personnel and DOC Security guards who are required to receive certified training and operate the AEDs.

All AED responders within this program must complete First-Aid/CPR/AED training. There is also a requirement for semi-annual refresher training. The American Heart Association certified instructors or other DOC approved training providers will performed all training and refreshers.

The Department’s desire is to train as many Emergency Response Team members (Hall Monitors, etc) as possible to enhance their duties as emergency monitors in their respective building areas. Employees interested in becoming an AED responders should contact the Office of Occupational Safety and Health at 202 482-4935.

Inspection and Maintenance

Regular maintenance will be performed as suggested to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations. After each use, a complete maintenance check according to the manufacturer’s recommendations will be performed.

Record Keeping

A copy of all training records will be kept current and up-to-date in the Office of Occupational Safety and Health at the Department of Commerce. The Office of Occupational Safety and Health will maintain current trained person lists and their certification, AED physical locations lists, and maintenance check records.

Post-Incident Reporting

For every incident where the AED is used on cardiac arrest victim, a report must be completed and submitted to the Office of Occupational Safety and Health within 24 hours of the incident.