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A social campaign is currently underway to create a map of places with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Poland. The Ratownik (Lifeguard) application allows all logged-in users to add new places and create a digital map, which will improve the work of citizen rescuers and increase the chances of saving injured people who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that enables the restoration of a normal heart rhythm by means of an electrical impulse. The defibrillation process is a medical procedure that involves applying a direct current of specific energy. The device automatically analyses the activity of the heart muscle and specially programmed algorithms inform whether defibrillation of the patient is necessary.
Hand-held defibrillators can be found in many public places and their popularity is constantly growing. Modern devices are equipped with a special program, issuing understandable instructions by voice, which guide the rescuer through the entire process of providing help. The commands are concise, and following the instructions given by the device allows even people with basic first aid knowledge to undertake rescue operations.
Although defibrillators can be found in many places in the public space, often people do not realise that a defibrillator is nearby when providing first aid. To restore heart action as soon as possible, citizen rescuers cannot look for an AED. This situation can be changed by the Polish AED Map, thanks to which first-aiders will be able to locate the nearest device efficiently, thus increasing the chance of a successful rescue operation. It should be remembered that in the case of cardiac arrest the first four minutes are decisive and the use of the AED increases the chances of survival even up to 70%.
How does the AED map work?
The Rescue Centre has created the Lifeguard app, which allows citizen rescuers to provide first aid quickly. People who have joined the Citizen Rescuer campaign include volunteers, firefighters, water lifeguards, mountain rescuers, and people who know how to give first aid. According to Barbara Skowrońska of the Polish Rescue Organisation, the RescueNet application allows people to streamline the process of receiving help, as it can also be used by people who do not feel adequately prepared to take emergency action themselves. In such a situation, it is enough to use the app to notify citizen rescuers who are in the area. The Rescue Centre adds that active rescuers receive a notification along with the location of the emergency call.
How to join the #dodajAED action?
To take part in the #dodajAED action and contribute to the Polish AED Map, it is enough to download the Ratownik application and create a free account. After enabling the RescueNet module, users can add the places on the map where automatic external defibrillators are located, attaching a photo of the device to facilitate its location.
As Aleksandra Eljasińska, managing director of the Rescue Centre, explains, over the last few days the Polish AED Map has expanded by 86 devices. The RescueNet module not only allows adding new places with AEDs but also enables users to confirm already existing points. Thanks to the constantly growing map of automatic external defibrillators the chances of providing effective help, which in the future may save someone’s life, are increasing.