How to Select an AED System
Which AED should I buy? What accessories do I need? How many AEDs should my facility have? How should I store it? What do i have to do to maintain it so it’s always ready to go?
These questions can be confusing, but you have come to the right place. We can help!
First of all, what is an AED? AEDs are computerized devices that give an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. They are small, portable, and easy to use. The safety features in the device will recommend a shock for only those victims that will benefit from this treatment.
AEDs are an integral part of the emergency care system. According to the American Heart Association’s 2014 update, more than 1,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside hospitals each day in the U.S. and 90% of them end in fatality. Cardiac arrest can occur at school, at a workplace, at the gym, at home. Anywhere, anytime. But immediate CPR and getting an AED to the victim quickly make a great difference in victim survival.
So many public places and workplaces now have AEDs. The more AEDS out there, the better chance of survival there is for all of us.
There are many brands and models of AEDs and I like some better than others. But they are all simple to use. They ALL include voice prompts that talk you through the steps and that makes it hard to go wrong.
As far as accessories, your needs may vary based on your setting. It’s best to have a professional advise you on this. We will recommend the package that is right for you. For instance, if the AED is for an adult workplace, you would not need pediatric electrode pads. It is important to have the correct accessories; without them, you may not be fully prepared. I’ve had clients show me AEDs they bought at some online company without any consultation. They often were delivered without spare electrode pads, or without an AED supply kit. These are both essential components, regardless of your setting. I had one client whose AED case was a really a “training” case and had a sign on it saying: FOR TRAINING USE ONLY! Talk about confusing. I’m sure he saved a few bucks but in my opinion, not a good choice.
How many AEDs should I buy? This depends on several factors, such as the amount of people typically present, difficulties (for EMS) in getting to potential victims, barriers such as locked doors, and the size of a property or facility. It’s best if the AED can be brought to the victim’s side within 2-3 minutes of the collapse; this gives the best chance of survival. We can usually perform an on-site visit to help you decide. We can also help you choose the best place to install the device.
How should I store the AED? AEDs are best stored in visible accessible locations, typically right on the wall. In most cases, we will recommend the security of a wall cabinet. Sometimes a more informal storage system is adequate.
Maintaining an AED is essential. Although most AED owners are reliable, I have visited more than a few clients and found their AEDs with dead batteries or expired pads. These accessories do need replacement after a few years. It’s important to assign someone the task of managing these expiration dates so the AED will always be ready when needed. Don’t worry. Maintaining your AED is not that hard and we will guide you.
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