The HSE have revised the Emergency First Aid and First Aid at Work syllabuses following the changes to Resuscitation Council UK guidelines on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in October 2015. Further the revision will require all workplace first aiders to be trained in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) from the 31 December 2016. This meets the Resuscitation Council UK guidelines which now state that the management of a casualty requiring CPR is to request an AED. AED's are becoming much more accessible both in workplaces and public access units.
As the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification covers CPR, and the EFAW forms the first unit of the First Aid at Work (FAW), changes are only required to the EFAW.
The EFAW Learning Outcome 4: ‘Be able to manage an unresponsive casualty who is not breathing normally’ has two Assessment Criteria, the second criteria, 4.2: ‘Demonstrate CPR using a manikin’ can readily incorporate the AED without change as the AED now forms part of the CPR sequence (Resus Council UK). This means a new Ofqual regulated qualification in order to cover the changes to resuscitation is not necessary.
AED training only needs to cover the safe use, correct placement of pads and follow the AED voice prompts. This can readily be introduced during the Learner performing CPR on a manikin. However as this needs to be demonstrated, each Learner will require access to an AED training defibrillator as well as manikin to practice on. Ideally one AED Trainer to 4 learners or course time may need adding.