Escalating and Non-Escalating AEDs

Escalating and Non-Escalating AEDs

Automated external defibrillators deliver their shocks in two types of protocols: escalating and non-escalating (or fixed). AED Brands sells both types. Learn which is right for you.

The reason for the two protocols is that there are several different schools of thought in the medical community. Some medical professionals think that a constant flow of low energy output (or fixed output) is sufficient for defibrillation. Others believe that having an AED capable of escalating its levels of energy is needed to re-shock victims who don’t respond to a first or second shock. Still other medical professionals believe that using an AED that can read the victim’s electrical impedance and vary the shock (a higher shock for higher impedance) is the most beneficial. AED Brands and/or a medical professional can help you decide which type may be better for your use.  

What are Joules?

“A unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of 1 ampere is passed through a resistance of 1 ohm for 1 second.”

The word “joules” is pronounced the same as the word “jewels” but joules (j) probably aren’t nearly as exciting as a bunch of diamonds, except maybe to a physicist! However, joules can be just as valuable as jewels especially when it comes to saving a life. Joules are the amount of energy an automated external defibrillator, or AED, delivers in a life-saving shock to the heart of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when a person’s heart begins to fibrillate or quiver out of control. Without a regular heartbeat, a person will collapse and quickly lose consciousness, and eventually stop breathing. Left untreated, the victim’s heart will stop beating and death will follow. An AED is the only way to get an SCA victim’s heart defibrillated or restarted.

James Prescott Joule was a 19th century physicist who discovered the first law of thermodynamics and who studied the amount of heat produced by an electric current. Joules are important in AEDs because they determine how much of an electric shock is delivered from the AED through the pads and into the victim. This electric shock is what restarts the heart.

No matter what type of automated external defibrillator you choose for your AED program, it is important to remember that having an AED on-site and having trained first responders available is vital for the health and safety of your employees and visitors to your building (or other public gathering place). Sudden cardiac arrest does not discriminate and all too often strikes young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor alike.

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AEDs that are budget friendly without compromising quality and performance.
Portability (Size/Wt.)
AEDs that are compact and lightweight. Great for travel and small spaces.
Durability (Dust/Water Resistance)
AEDs with high resistance to dust and water damage. Perfect for outdoors, areas near water, vehicles, and industrial settings.
CPR Feedback
AEDs with audible and/or visual feedback on the quality of compressions given during CPR. Great for untrained responders or those with limited training.
Fully Automatic Option
No shock button. The AED will automatically deliver a shock if needed. Removes the responsibility from the user. Great for untrained responders.
Pediatric Method
A pediatric key or button eliminates the need to purchase pediatric pads.
Maintenance Cost
Cost of replacement supplies for the life of the AED.
Remote Monitor Option
This feature reports the status of the AED to a web portal. Great for large or multi-location deployments. Cuts down on administrative workload. Adds accountability and ensures readiness.
Dual Language
AEDs that can toggle between two languages. Great for deployments that have diversity. English/Spanish is the preset option. Must request for alternative languages.
Required Inspection Interval
Each state requires AED maintenance per manufacturer guidelines. Some AEDs save time by requiring inspections less frequently. Great for large or multi-location deployments.