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Frequently Asked Questions



Why should I choose Red Cross Certified Instruction?

The Red Cross is the national leader in safety instruction.  Red Cross training meets or exceeds all OSHA standards in each course specialty.  Further, Red Cross safety courses are designed as a part of an integrated whole, so that a comprehensive training plan can be designed for your organization.

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Automated External Defibrillators


Why are Automated External Defibrillators in the news so much?

In the time it takes you to read this page, sudden cardiac arrest will have claimed another victim.  In the past year 250,000 Americans died of sudden cardiac arrest:  nearly one death every two minutes.  Up to 100,000 of these deaths could have been prevented if someone had initiated the Cardiac Chain of Survival and an automated external defibrillator (AED) had been available for immediate use at the time of the emergency.

Our mission at APSTA is to support the Red Cross in its goal to make our community a better place through safety training.   We provide the same Red Cross Certified training as local Red Cross chapters, but are focused on providing our clients with the most flexible range of services and the most convenient way of having those services delivered.

Defibrillators have been in the news because they have been so effective when they have been available and people have been trained to use them.  In areas where early access defibrillation programs were put into effect, such as Seattle, Washington, the survival rate jumped to 30-40%.  

Nine out of ten people will die without early access to defibrillation.   Every minute it takes EMS to arrive, the person's chance of survival goes down ten percent.    The national survival rate on the average is only five percent.  

That is why the Red Cross is committed to making AEDs as prevalent in our communities as fire extinguishers.  The American Red Cross has a vision of all Americans being within 4 minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.  We here at APSTA are proud to assist the Red Cross in making this vision a reality.

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Why is Red Cross AED training effective?

American Red Cross courses combine CPR training with instruction in automated external defibrillation; the two skills needed to save the life of a sudden cardiac arrest victim.  Currently, AED training is an integral part of our Adult CPR/AED and Standard First Aid courses.

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Can APSTA assist in the purchase of an AED?

APSTA does not sell AEDs.   We will be happy to put you in contact with our own provider, or to put you in touch with another provider of your choice.

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What is an AED?

An AED is a small portable device that delivers a shock to the heart of someone suffering from cardiac arrest -- a condition in which the heart stops beating.  These lifesaving devices prompt the rescuer verbally and visually along, step-by-step, and will tell the rescuer exactly when to deliver a shock if necessary.

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Why should I choose Red Cross Certified Instruction?

The Red Cross is the national leader in safety instruction.  Red Cross training meets or exceeds all OSHA standards in each course specialty.  Further, Red Cross safety courses are designed as a part of an integrated whole, so that a comprehensive training plan can be designed for your organization.

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How does an AED Work?

An AED is easy to operate.  It uses voice prompts to instruct the rescuer. Once the machine is turned on, the rescuer will be prompted to apply two electrodes provided with the AED to the victim's chest.  Once applied, the AED will begin to monitor the victim's heart rhythm.  If a "shockable" rhythm is detected, the machine will charge itself and instruct the rescuer to stand clear of the victim and to press the shock button.

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If an AED is so easy to use, why do I need training?

Training is necessary in order to understand the role of defibrillation in the broader context of the cardiac chain of survival.  Training in CPR and AED skills will enable the rescuer to use all the steps in the cardiac chain of survival, thereby significantly increasing the victim's chance of survival.  All 50 states now have AED Good Samaritan provisions that help protect laypersons.

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What is the Cardiac Chain of Survival?

The cardiac chain of survival is a series of four critical steps.  All four steps of the chain must be present to help ensure survival from sudden cardiac arrest.  The four steps are:

    Step 1:    Early access to care (911 or other emergency number)
    Step 2:    Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
    Step 3:    Early defibrillation
    Step 4:    Early advanced cardiac life support as needed

The third step, delivering an electrical shock to the heart, which is known as defibrillation, is recognized as the most critical step in restoring cardiac rhythm and resuscitating a victim of SCA.

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Bloodborne Pathogens


What is the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard?

On December 6, 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.  This standard is designed to protect approximately 5.6 million workers from the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Hepatitis B Virus.

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Who is covered by the OSHA standard?

The OSHA standard applies to all employees who may have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).  Occupational exposure is defined as "reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or OPIM that may result from the performance of the employee's duties.  Blood is defined as human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood.

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Which employees in my organization must be trained? 

All employees with occupational exposure must receive initial and annual training.

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Should part-time and temporary employees be trained?

Part-time and temporary employees are covered and are also to be trained on company time.

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Who has the responsibility for training workers employed by agencies which provide personnel to other employers?

OSHA considers personnel providers, who send their own employees to work at other facilities, to be employers whose employees may be exposed to hazards.  Since personnel providers have a continued relationship with their employees, but another employer creates and controls the hazard, there is a shared responsibility for assuring that your employees are protected from workplace hazards. 

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What is included in the training record?

The training record contains the dates of the training, the contents or a summary of the training sessions, the names and job titles of all persons attending the training, and the names and qualifications of the persons conducting the training.

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How long must the training records be kept?

Training records must be retained for 3 years from the training date.

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The purpose of this page of FAQs is to provide answers to some of the more commonly asked questions related to AEDs and the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.   It is not intended to be used as a substitute for the standard's requirements, nor for the advice of an attorney.   Please refer to the OSHA Standard and other applicable laws for a more comprehensive analysis.


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Serving Northeastern United States


American Professional Safety Trainers Alliance, L.L.P., A New Jersey Limited Liability Partnership

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