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Thinking of buying an AED? Not sure if you need to replace your existing AED?

If you are thinking about purchasing a new AED, or curious if you’re old AED needs to be replaced, you’re probably scratching your head trying to figure out which AED is best for you. Relax, we wrote this article to take the stress out of buying an AED and provide you with real world insights to help you make an informed decision to buy the right AED for you.

 

Let’s start off with a little background

Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, have been helping both first responders and ordinary individuals safely resuscitate SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) victims and save lives without complex medical training. AEDs work by producing a small electrical charge that can reset a patient’s heart to its correct rhythm.

While easy-to-use portable defibrillators are only a few decades old, AEDs are so effective at saving lives that they’re estimated to increase SCA survival rates by a staggering 70%. Despite these statistics, many areas of the U.S. simply don’t have enough AEDs to go around. Experts estimate that an increase in AEDs to optimal levels could save more than 40,000 American lives each year – and that’s just one reason why it’s essential for more people to learn about and have access to this lifesaving device.

 

What to look for when purchasing an AED

Now we understand the role of an AED let’s take a look at 3 key factors you should take into consideration when purchasing an AED.

 

Cost

Upfront V Lifetime

One of the biggest mistakes we see when purchasing an AED is that buyers are looking at the upfront cost of the unit. However, not all AED’s are created equally. When considering purchasing a new or replacement AED it is important to look at “Lifetime ownership costs“. Typically we see most people own an AED for 10+ years, during that time you will replace batteries and pads several times. However, each manufacturer has a different life of their batteries and pads. So what may appear to be a more cost effective AED solution upfront, actually turns out to be more expensive over the lifetime of the AED as you may have to replace batteries and pads more frequently in some units.

Quality Compression Feedback

Because you don’t always remember what you learned in class

Another important factor when selecting an AED is quality compression feedback, some AED’s have a very beneficial feature of providing real time feedback for compression depth and rates. Even though you learned CPR in class, having this live feedback during a SCA can be very helpful, after all having a little extra guidance can make the situation a little less stressful.

 

 

Synchronized Expiration Dates

You dont want pads to expire while the battery still show’s good

Some AED’s have different life duration between pads and batteries. The problem here is that you will end up replacing pads while the battery is still good.

 

 

 

As many people would expect, the vast majority of AEDs (59%) in the U.S. are currently owned by first responders such as a policemen, firefighters, and EMTs. The next largest group of AED owners are schools (17%), followed by faith-based and recreational organizations, nursing homes and senior centers, and hospitals, clinics, and other medical centers. It’s a good idea to know the general places in which the equipment is most likely to be located, so, in case of emergency, you have a better shot at finding (or helping others to find) a nearby AED. In addition, if you or a loved one has a close family member with a heart condition, you may want to inquire about where the closest AED is, especially if traveling to remote or rural areas.

In the first 10 months after Chicago’s O’Hare Airport installed 49 AEDs on the premises, the devices were used 14 times, saving a total of nine lives – nearly 1 each month (and that’s only one airport). When it comes to helping an SCA victim, every second counts. According to statistics published by the American Heart Association, every additional minute AED use is delayed corresponds with a 10% reduction in patient survival rates. This means that in especially large areas or buildings, such as airports like O’Hare, it pays to have multiple AEDs located in different areas in order to facilitate easy access to the devices.

 

 

So which AED do we purchase?

 

 

Down and Dirty:

HeartSine 350P AED

AED cost is $1,225

Cost to maintain it over 10 years – $352  (batteries and pads)

DOES NOT HAVE Quality compression feedback

DOES HAVE synchronized expiration dates – replace supplies every 4th year.

Total cost of ownership for 10 years – $1,577

 

Best bang for your money & Best Quality:

Zoll AED plus Cost is $1,995

Cost to maintain it over 10 years – $245 (batteries and pads)

DOES HAVE Quality Compression Feedback – says “push harder”

DOES HAVE synchronized expiration dates – replace supplies every 5th year.

Total cost of ownership for 10 years – $2,485

 

Best Value after the Zoll:

HeartSine 450P AED  Cost is $1,595

Cost to maintain it over 10 years – $352 (batteries and pads)

DOES HAVE Quality Compression Feedback – Says “push faster” “push slower”

DOES HAVE synchronized expiration dates – replace supplies every 4th year.

Total cost of ownership for 10 years is $2,2

 

In our opinion, not that you asked,  The Zoll is a better purchase for $205 more (a little over $20 a year). It’s a more direct command for the rescuer to reduce human error. “Push Harder” is what the Instructor would tell you in class and this AED does that for you for a live rescue situation.  Zoll has a trade in program if you have older AED’s that are still in production. (not discontinued)

While AEDs save an increasing number of lives each year, many Americans don’t even understand what they are. This widespread lack of knowledge means that individuals may not be able to get full use of the life-saving equipment present in their community. Additionally, a lack of understanding means that many Americans are less likely to push for more AEDs in their schools, religious and community centers, and other public areas.

While the number of AEDs is increasing, especially in places like college and university campuses, it’s not increasing fast enough to help many SCA victims. However, increased education and awareness may be able to help. And hopefully, this awareness will help make death from an SCA into an uncommon occurrence.

To learn more about how AEDs (and proper training in their usage) can help save lives in businesses, schools, and other public places, contact Green Guard for a free consultation.

 

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