Since their invention, Automated External Defibrillators (AED’S) have been popping up everywhere from airports to sporting arenas. These automated devices treat a condition known as ventricular defibrillation, one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac arrest. Yet when it comes to selecting an AED, many people are left scratching their head, wondering what to look for.
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Here’s what you need to know when buying an AED
One of the most helpful ways to determine which AED is right for you is to ask yourself a series of questions.
- Where will the AED be located? Additional features may not be necessary for AEDs placed in a location where employees of a business can engage in a training program for how and when to use it. Semi-automated systems that require the placement of pads, turning on the machine, following its prompts, and pushing a button to administer the electric shock are appropriate when those who are the most likely to use it can be trained in proper administration.
- Who is the target population that could use it? AED’s that are placed in public or highly trafficked places, such as airports, large hotels, schools or sporting arenas are more likely to be used by a lay person who lacks experience with an AED. In this situation, a fully automated device that simply requires placing pads on a patient’s chest and pressing the start button would be preferable to a semi-automated model. Video prompts as well as audio prompts are also preferable as they give rescuers who may not speak English and opportunity to intervene on behalf of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.
- Do you prefer a new or refurbished model? New, out-of-the box AEDs are attractive for their long battery life and warranties. However, the expense of purchasing a new AED often prevents small businesses, schools or public offices from creating an AED emergency plan. Fortunately, refurbished AED models provide the same life-saving technology, complete with an optional one-year parts and labor guarantee, at a fraction of the price.