What is an AED – If you’ve ever wondered what those devices inside of cabinets are called or used for, then you have come to the right place.
They may come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, but their primary function is the same – to treat victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which is responsible for causing the deaths of over 300,000 Americans each year.
The modern AED is a sophisticated and high-tech piece of medical equipment, but it is designed to be used by everyday people and bystanders who can provide first aid much faster than 911. The fate of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims can be greatly impacted by each passing minute, with some studies showing that the chances of survival on average drop 10% for each minute that passes.
Do You Need Training to Operate an AED?
While there are no bigger advocates for first aid training than us, the modern AEDs are designed with features that can turn anybody into a first responder.
Of course, the most critical step when attempting a rescue is to contact professional first responders by calling 911.
AEDs are so essential and easily accessible in public places because SCA victims usually have only a survival window of around 10 minutes. Normal EMS response times usually range right on the cusp of that mark.
What should I consider when purchasing an AED?
Maintenance – In most cases, AED maintenance is as simple as replacing the pads and batteries when necessary. For more devices, the pads must be replaced every two years or after use during an SCA. For batteries, most types must be replaced every four years. The cost varies for AED Pads and AED Batteries depending on which device you select. Most batteries cost between $150-$400 whereas adult AED Pads cost around $50-120 depending on the device.
Newer AED devices now feature some sort of CPR feedback or CPR coaching to help lay responders or bystanders deliver high-quality CPR. AED machines like the ZOLL AED Plus will let the responder know how their CPR compressions are and give feedback in real-time. It can detect whether a responder is pushing too fast, too slow, too hard, or too soft.