We never know when an emergency is going to happen, and we all need to be prepared for one at any time. In an emergency situation every second counts, especially in a cardiac emergency.
Along with the First Aid Kit, Trauma Kit, and Dual-Tank Emergency Oxygen Kit that I always have with me in the back of my truck on every dive I have also now added an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) stored in a watertight case to my personal emergency equipment.
In a case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest an AED needs to be applied to the patient as soon as possible for the best outcome for the patient.
For every minute that goes by without the AED delivering it’s life-saving electrical shock to the patients heart in order to get the heart to return to a normal rhythm, the patient looses approximately 10% of their chances of surviving the event. That means that after just 10 minutes the chances of being able to save the patient, and them being able to make a full recovery are very slim.
Unfortunately many of the shore diving sites that we frequently visit are well outside of that precious 10 minute window from advanced emergency medical care, and thats AFTER we finally get the patient back to shore where we can call EMS for help. By having an AED on scene and ready to use as soon as the patient is on shore the patient has a much better chance at surviving the event.
Just as my Trauma Kit and Emergency Oxygen Kit I hope to never have a need to use the new AED, but having it there and ready-to-go gives me greater piece of mind – just in case.