In the UK, over 30,000 individuals experience cardiac arrests outside hospitals each year in settings such as homes, workplaces, and public areas. Shockingly, only one in 10 people survive. Immediate CPR and defibrillation significantly enhance survival chances, emphasising the necessity of on-site automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
An AED is a life-saving device that reads heart rhythms and delivers electric shocks (defibrillation) to correct irregular rates. While not legally required, having an AED in the workplace can be pivotal in saving lives.
Choosing the right AED for your environment is crucial due to the myriad of options available. We delve into the key features to help you to make an informed decision and ensure the safety of your team.
Semi-automatic vs. fully automatic
Semi-automatic AEDs require human intervention for defibrillation and can cost slightly less than a full automatic AED. Semi-automatic AEDs are suitable for workplaces where there are trained CPR / AED personnel on site. Fully automatic AEDs deliver shocks automatically after monitoring, eliminating the need for a trained operator. Certain AED models include integrated CPR coaching functions, guiding first-aiders through CPR steps with voice prompts and indicators for chest compressions.
AED use for adults and children
Models differ in adapting to CPR and defibrillation for adults and children. Some AEDs use the same electrode pads for all ages with a mode selection switch, while others require different pad sizes.
Storage, size and weight
The choice of AED is influenced by where you will store it. Higher Ingress Protection (IP) ratings offer better protection against solids and liquids, crucial for environments with contamination, water risks or those stored externally.
In portable settings like search and rescue operations, AED size and weight play a crucial role in ease of transport.
Safety signs and extras
Defibrillators are needed in emergency situations where time is of the essence. Ensure responders can easily find the equipment with AED signs.