ASHI and MEDIC First Aid Blog

July 13, 2021

AEDs Today: Top Features to Look for When Purchasing an AED

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) analyzes a person’s heart rhythm and delivers a lifesaving shock to restore the heartbeat. AEDs are very simple and safe to use, even for untrained bystanders.

There are many AEDs on the market with different bells and whistles that might appeal to different businesses and rescuers. So, how do you know which is the best AED?

Many times, it boils down to which features are the most important to you and how much you’re willing to spend.

Here’s some top features to look for when purchasing an AED.


Semi-automatic vs. fully-automatic AEDs

A semi-automatic AED requires the rescuer to push a button in order to shock the victim. Whereas, a fully-automatic AED will automatically shock the victim without pressing an additional button if it detects a shockable rhythm.

When deciding between a semi-automatic versus a fully-automatic AED, consider who will be using the AED. Will they have AED use training? Are they likely to freeze when it’s time to push the “shock” button?

Fully-automatic AEDs can take the emotional response out of delivering a shock. But semi-automatic AEDs allow the rescuer to have more control to ensure no one is touching the victim before a shock is delivered.


Integrated CPR coaching and feedback

Most AEDs provide visual and/or audio prompts to begin CPR. However, some AEDs provide real-time CPR coaching and feedback to help the rescuer provide adequate compressions.

For example, ZOLL AEDs are equipped with CPR feedback technology that provides assistance on compression rate and depth to ensure delivery of high-quality compressions.

More cost-effective AEDs provide basic auditory prompts and a metronome to guide the rescuer through CPR.


Remote monitoring features

Remote monitoring features via Wi-Fi or cellular network makes managing an AED easier than ever. Wi-Fi connectivity can also provide emergency responders a complete picture of the sudden cardiac arrest event, so they’re better prepared to respond at the scene.

 For example, Physio Control’s LIFELINKcentral AED Program Manager eliminates manual checks and provides location, battery status and other readiness information automatically for one or multiple AEDs across thousands of miles.


Other AED Considerations

Here are some other features and options to consider when purchasing an AED.

  • Pediatric pad options. Most AEDs have pediatric pad options, but some models use a “child key” or a button that allows the unit to switch between adult mode and child mode. These options reduce the energy level of the shock without having to maintain and use separate pediatric pads.

  • IP ratings. Every AED has a water and dust ingress protection rating, which details how well the unit is protected from solid objects, dust, accidental contact and water. If the AED will be used in a workplace environment with high dust and moisture, use an AED with a higher IP rating.

  • Need for maintenance and consumables. AEDs require regular inspections and basic care to ensure each unit is ready to deliver a shock when needed. Additionally, the shelf life of batteries, pads and other consumables vary by manufacturer and model.


AEDs for every budget

If you have a higher-end budget (e.g. $1,500 to $2,000 per unit), here are a few premium AED models to explore:

  • The Physio Control LIFEPAK CR2 allows for uninterrupted CPR compressions during heart rhythm analysis and is designed for user confidence.

  • The Zoll AED3 has full-color rescue images, touchscreen display, integrated child mode, long-life consumables and Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring.

  • The Cardiac Science G5 combines fully automatic shock delivery (semi-automatic available), dual-language functionality, variable escalating energy and fast shock times.

 However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly AED, we recommend checking out the Philips Onsite and Heartsine 350P.

Ultimately, all AEDs are effective at saving lives. So, as long you make an AED available, you’re giving future cardiac arrest victims the best chance at survival.


Bottom line: The best AED is the one closest during an emergency

When you’re purchasing an AED, you can focus on features that are most important to you. But when it’s time to use an AED during a cardiac emergency, the best AED is going to be the one that is closest to you when you need it.

Interested in helping businesses find the right AED for their workplace? Contact us to join the HSI AED Sales Agent Program to start selling AEDs today!




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