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.
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:
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!