AED Buying Guide: 10 Important Things You Should Know

SCA is one of those cardiovascular diseases that should not be underestimated for that it can suddenly happen to anyone without warning, and the survival rate decreases by 10% for every minute pass if the golden rescue time of 3-5 minutes is missed.[1] Therefore, it is of great importance to configure an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in your workplace or community for defibrillation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients.

However, there is complex and huge information about AED and SCA for first-time AED buyers. To implement an effective AED program that is a critical link in the chain of survival, it is useful to figure out 10 important things regarding AED purchase before looking for the best AED. It also guides you to make a desirable AED purchase.

1. What is an AED machine?

An AED is a portable electronic device designed to make successful defibrillation for cardiac arrest, a condition where the heart fails to function properly and an irregular heart rhythm is present. Defibrillation is the process of delivering a high-energy shock through the AED pads to the patient’s heart to restore a regular heart rhythm.

Given that, a standard AED package comes with accessories such as batteries to power on and AED replacement pads to detect irregular heart rhythm and deliver an electric shock to restore heart rhythm. The AED device is compact to put in an AED box in bright color mounted on the wall in public. Usually, there is a conspicuous sign of “AED” around the AED box.

2. What are the classifications of AEDs?

Not all AED buying options are the same. According to different standards, there are different kinds of AED machines on the market, and they usually exist in the following classifications:

  • Fully automatic AED – Electric shock is delivered automatically by the device, so operator does not need to press any button. A fully automatic AED is the suitable solution for laypersons to carry out SCA rescue as it gives out comprehensive guidance and even just needs rescuers to place AED pads.
  • Semi-automatic AED – The semi-automatic AED analyzes the heart rhythm of the victim automatically but has to instruct the user to press the shock button to deliver an AED shock if necessary.
  • Monophasic AED – Monophasic AED refers to the traditional device that emits an electrical current in a single direction. The current goes from an electrode on one side of the victim’s chest to the electrode on the other side.
  • Biphasic AED – Biphasic AED relies on a bidirectional current flow. The current flows from the electrode on side A of the victim’s chest to the electrode on side B and then flows to side A again, forming a cycle. Biphasic AED is currently the preferred intervention for advanced cardiac life support, providing less and safer energy than monophasic AED to achieve the same effect.

3. How much does an AED cost?

The prices of the AED equipment vary from different factors such as accessories, functions, brand reputation, technologies, etc. Generally speaking, the entry-level AED equipment may cost between $900 and $1200, while the AED price of a higher-end machine can exceed $2000. The AED price is always considered so high that people are afraid to take the first step of AED purchase. However, it is wise of you to consider AED buy as a long-term and cost-effective investment compared to saving a life.

4. Do I need to have a physician’s prescription to buy AED?

Yes, you do. AED devices must be sold and operated according to the CE rules. Before you go and complete an AED purchase, you will need a prescription from a healthcare provider. Additionally, if you own or plan to have multiple AEDs for business, each device must have its prescription.

Prescription for AED buy is not the same as the drug prescription, i.e., you do not need a pre-existing medical condition to get it. The goal of a prescription is to ensure all the standards and regulations are followed, not to make someone ineligible for this device.

5. Can individuals buy an AED for home?

AEDs are not designed for medical settings only. In order to rescue patients at the first time, AED equipment is allowed to be used by non-professional rescuers, which means that it is recommended and allowed to configure an AED device in some families with a high probability of cardiac arrest. To ensure safety and effectiveness, it is vital to buy AED for home that is approved by CE and meets all the standards and regulations.

6. What should I do once I purchase AED?

The first thing you need to do after completing the AED purchase is to register it, but the exact requirement may vary from one place to another. You will need to do a little research and see how these devices are regulated and registered in your area. Registration is helpful for more reasons than one, but the most significant factor is that it provides law enforcement and emergency personnel with important information in emergencies. For instance, if someone nearby makes an emergency call for cardiac arrest, the operator can determine the location of your AED and direct the caller to your location to get access to the device and quickly carry out the rescue.

To make things easier for you, it makes sense to organize AED training regularly. Since every minute in the SCA rescue is highly tense and urgent, you had better know how and when to use it and situations when you should not use the AED equipment to carry out successful defibrillation.

7. How long should I take CPR/AED training?

SCA is being valued by an increasing number of communities and institutions. Some local Red Cross or Heart Associations will hold AED training from time to time. The course is flexible depending on training needs. In most cases, the CPR/AED training course lasts between 2 to over 5 hours. [2] Of course, some AED companies, such as Mindray and Philips, provide AED training packages for you to carry out AED training independently and regularly.

8. What protections against civil liability apply to AEDs?

If you fail to save the patient when applying AED equipment to them, you do not have to be afraid or frightened because there are some useful protections against civil liability. Some AED devices, such as Mindray AED, will record the use history in detail to be your compelling evidence. More than that, Good Samaritan laws are a great example to protect someone who attempts to help a person in distress. The SARAH act helps protect against lawsuits. Basically, the Social Action, Heroism, and Responsibility Act indicates a judge needs to consider whether a person was trying to save the victim, whether the approach was responsible, and whether a person was behaving heroically to save someone.

9. How / where do I buy AEDs?

There are various channels for you to buy AED. The easiest one is going directly to the physical AED stores of the AED brand that meet your budget and requirement. You also can achieve online AED purchases from reliable suppliers by googling “AED supplier”. If you think it difficult for you to buy AEDs, go and consult your community about whether there is an AED grants program. If yes, you can purchase AED by applying for AED grants.

10. What is the best AED for me?

A great number of famous AED brands have emerged in the global AED market, making it more difficult for consumers to select the best AED equipment. There is no doubt that we must pay special attention to its quality and technicality for rescue equipment. Editor here recently noticed that an AED brand is gaining more and more attention in the global market.

Compared with other AED companies in terms of categories, technology, accessories, and cost performance, Mindray AED is worthy of being counted into your list of the best AED of the year. Mindray AED provides industry-standard biphasic AEDs ranging from fully automatic AEDs to semi-automatic AEDs that feature 360J biphasic technology to cover a wide range of SCA patients with high body impedance.

To maximize rescue efficiency, QShockTM technology is adopted by Mindray to deliver the first AED shock in 8 seconds by integrating the ECG analysis and pre-charging process. The function of recording the use history is the innovation feature of the AED industry to provide the greatest guarantee for the first responder.

Moreover, Mindray occupies a leading position in the industry with its 5-year life shelf of AED replacement pads and batteries to dramatically reduce the frequency of accessory replacement and subsequent maintenance costs. It is cost-effective no matter for first-time AED buyers or those who want to replace their AED equipment.

Conclusion

Scroll down to here; you have gotten basic information about AED devices and some things about AED purchases. If you still have confusion about AED, you are welcome to leave a comment in the comment area.

References:

[1] Part 4: The Automated External Defibrillator. Key Link in the Chain of Survival. AHA Journal. Volume 102, Issue suppl_1, August 2000, Pages 60-76. Available at: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/circ.102.suppl_1.I-60 (Accessed: 12 October 2021)

[2] AED Program Fact Sheet. American Red Cross. First Aid. CPR. AED Program Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/training-services/licensed-training-provider/FACPRAED-FactSheet-2017.10.20.pdf (Accessed: 12 October 2021)

Hot Topics

Related Articles