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Most Americans not sure how to use an AED, survey shows

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Photo: Michael Sharkey

Cincinnati — More than 3 in 5 Americans doubt their ability to correctly use an automated external defibrillator, while slightly more than half say they are proficient in performing CPR, according to the results of a recent survey.

In the survey of more than 2,000 adults, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of workplace first aid services and supplies provider Cintas Corp., 63 percent of respondents reported a lack of confidence in using an AED, and only 54 percent said they felt comfortable administering CPR.

From the "First Aid, CPR and AED" course offered by the National Safety Council. Learn more about NSC first aid and CPR training – including online and classroom training for learners, and courses and materials for instructors. © 2015 National Safety Council

“In many emergency situations, prompt, properly administered first aid care can mean the difference between life and death,” Tom Lally, director of training and compliance for first aid and safety at Cintas, said in a Jan. 23 press release.

Additional findings show that respondents have a stronger aptitude for other first aid and emergency preparedness basics:

  • 79 percent said they are confident they would know the proper response to a weather-related emergency such as a tornado, hurricane or earthquake.
  • 78 percent said they are confident in their ability to use a fire extinguisher.
  • 75 percent said they are confident in their ability to administer basic first aid, such as bandaging a cut and doing the Heimlich maneuver.

In the release, Lally said employers bear the responsibility for determining the requirements of a workplace first aid program.

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