Ten years of AED

Taking the next step through education and information in saving lives

2014 marked the tenth year anniversary since citizens gained permission to use the automated external defibrillator (AED). As of December 2012, 447,818 AED units have been installed. Japan is reportedly the world’s best in terms of the unit count per-citizen. The word AED has pervaded society, yet there are some cases where the AED is not utilized when necessary, resulting in the loss of lives. September is the disaster reduction month, which contains Kyu-Kyu (rescue) day, on September 9, and World First Aid Day on September 13 2014. Let us take the opportunity to take the first steps towards using an AED.Why don't you make this opportunity for your first step to use an AED?

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A person collapsed! In such incidents, we need more responders who can react Junichi Takahashi Manager, Health and Safety Group, Disaster Management and Social Welfare Management, Operations Sector, Japanese Red Cross Society

Just last year, 460,000* people attended Japanese Red Cross Society’s (JRCS) first aid course, which includes instructions on how to use the AED. The number of accumulated attendees has reached about 3 million. In the last ten years however, some challenges have become clear. While the word "AED" is now widely accepted and more units have been installed, the utilization rate has not been increased. Another issue is identifying the proper location for the placement of the AED units. In an actual emergency situation, when a person who collapses at home will need immediate emergency care. Unless the first responders know the exact location of the AED unit, they will not be able to use it to save the person’s life. JRCS recognizes the need to identify the right target for disseminating information about the AED and to use the right lecturing style for the course.

JRCS has developed practical courses mainly on the AED usage and has launched participatory courses that include case studies and group discussions. JRCS hopes that the participants of the course will be able to act accordingly in different scenarios, preparing them for future emergencies.

In addition, there is an increase in affiliated courses conducted with other companies and associations. In order to resolve further challenges, stronger cooperation is planned between JRCS and other associations.

*3.4 million people participate in the AED courses each year, including those held by fire departments. Out of this number, almost 1.2 million people take this course in driving schools, along with their driving lessons. JRCS mainly oversees the first aid textbook content used at the driving school and teaches first aid methods to driving instructors.

AED Project : Reduce Sudden-Death

Expectations of JRCS -- Dissemination and Edification from citizens' perspective Dr. Taku Iwami Executive Director, "Project Reduce-Sudden-Death" Associate Professor, Kyoto University Medical Service

"Project Reduce-Sudden-Death" is an organization forming a union of members involved in disseminating information about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED methods. This union includes members from the educational and sporting worlds. Among them, JRCS exists as a pillar for education and advocates about CPR and AED. .

In JRCS, staffs and volunteers who are not professional medical or emergency service workers participate as first aid instructors. This is the strength which helps promote the dissemination and edification targeting the citizens. I expect JRCS to utilize its viewpoint, which is close to the general citizens, and build a platform to increase citizen responders.

Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. Only bystanders can rescue someone who is suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest. Let us expand our Movement together and increase the number of people who have both the courage and capacity to react when they encounter such incidences, and build a sense of appreciation for those who act bravely and take action in our society.

Learn about CPR and the use of AED: When a person gets injured or falls ill.


• Before speaking to the person, check that the surrounding area is safe and he or she is not bleeding severely.

• Check to see if the person is conscious

• Speak to him or her by tapping on the person’s shoulder

• If there is no reaction, get help from bystanders • Ask them to call 119 and to arrange for an AED. • Check if the person’s breathing • Check if the person’s chest is moving within 10 seconds

For abnormal breathing: • Perform CPR • Begin chest compressions immediately!

• Repeat 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths

• (If a rescue breath is impossible, repeat just chest compressions)

• When the AED unit arrives: turn it on and operate accordingly


Some AEDs are automatically powered on when their cover is opened Apply the AED pads

● Wipe the victim’s bare chest if it is wet

● Remove any medication patch

● Place away from a pacemaker

Let the AED’s automatic heart rhythm analyse the person’s heart rate Do not touch the person A shock is needed A shock Continue CPR after the shock

Watch this video by JRCS on “Basic Life Support (BLS) -- CPR and AED--.” Learning and practicing these methods on a regular basis will make a difference during an emergency. Recommend your friends and acquaintances to watch this video as well. http://youtu.be/qYea586_U9s