June safety tip

Monthly safety tip from your Black Hawk College Safety Committee

June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. The federal designation arose through the efforts of the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council. National CPR and AED Awareness Week was established to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED.

Approximately 890 deaths from coronary heart disease occur outside of the hospital or emergency room every day. Most of these deaths are due to the sudden loss of heart function or sudden cardiac death. In 2001 and 2002, there were 6,628 workplace fatalities reported to OSHA — 1,216 from heart attack, 354 from electric shock, and 267 from asphyxia. A number of these victims (up to 60%) might have been saved if automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were immediately available. Chances of survival from sudden cardiac death diminish by 7-10% for each minute without immediate CPR or defibrillation. After 10 minutes, resuscitation rarely succeeds.

An AED is an electronic device designed to deliver an electric shock to a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Ventricular fibrillation may be restored to normal rhythm up to 60% of the time if treated promptly with an AED; a procedure called defibrillation.[1]  In a study of Public-Access Defibrillation (PAD), communities with volunteers trained in CPR and the use of AEDs had twice as many victims survive compared to communities with volunteers trained only in CPR.[2]

Some statistics:

  • There are 220,000 victims of sudden cardiac arrest per year in the United States. About 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur at work.
  • Waiting for the arrival of emergency medical system personnel results in only 5-7% survival.
  • Studies with immediate defibrillation have shown up to 60% survival one year after sudden cardiac arrest.

Causes of sudden cardiac arrest:

  • Heart attack
  • Electrocution
  • Asphyxiation

Reasons for AEDs in the workplace:

  • Workers may suffer sudden cardiac arrest while on the job.
  • Onsite AEDs save precious treatment time and can improve survival odds because they can be used before emergency medical service (EMS) personnel arrive.
  • A heart rhythm in ventricular fibrillation may only be restored to normal by an electric shock.
  • The AED is compact, lightweight, portable, battery-operated, safe and easy to use. [3]

Using an AED:

AED usage is generally a part of all CPR training. However, in an emergency anyone can operate the AED. When the user opens the case it automatically prompts easily understood voice commands. The main things to remember are:

  • Always call 911 before using the device so an ambulance can be dispatched immediately.
  • Never place your hands on the victim while the unit is administering the electrical shock (or you will feel the shock as well).

An alarm will sound on most AED units either when the cabinet door is opened or when the AED is removed from the cabinet. This is normal and designed to attract attention from others so they can assist in the lifesaving process.

AEDs are located throughout the college’s facilities.

Quad-Cities locations:

QC Bldg 1 Wall-mounted next to Welcome Desk
QC Bldg 2 Wall-mounted in 1st floor lobby (near tunnel)
QC Bldg 3 Wall-mounted in 3rd floor hallway between gym and pool, near entrance
QC Bldg 3 – Pool Wall-mounted behind the diving boards
QC Bldg 3 – Fitness Center Wall-mounted outside Fitness Center entrance
QC Bldg 4 Wall-mounted in 1st floor hallway near elevator
QC-HSC Wall-mounted in 2nd floor hallway near Room 203 (north end)
Outreach Center Wall-mounted behind reception desk near elevator
Adult Learning Center Wall-mounted behind reception desk in lobby
Baseball field (seasonal) Portable unit used in-season; kept near dugout
Softball field (seasonal) Portable unit used in-season; kept in the shed

East Campus locations:

EC Bldg 1 Fitness Center – Room 108
EC Bldg 7 Ag Arena (main hallway) next to fire extinguisher
EC Bldg A Near Welcome Center
EC-VSC Main hallway next to first aid kit
EC-CEC Main hallway across from Room 128
EC-WSTC Main hallway next to fire extinguisher

For more information, visit the following organizations’ websites (type “AED” in their respective search engines):


Disclaimer: These tips have been provided as general information for increasing safety awareness and for informational purposes only. Black Hawk College does not accept any liability for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) that is provided. We make every effort to insure the integrity and validity of the data provided.  Always, check with your care provider before making any changes.

[1] https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/aed/index.html

[2] https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/aed/aeds_workplace.html

[3] Saving Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victims in the Workplace – Automated External Defibrillators; OSHA 3185-09N 2003