AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator, a portable device designed for the emergency treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. It analyses the heart’s rhythm and, if needed, delivers a controlled electric shock to the chest to help blood pump normally again.
Despite the fact that public access defibrillators have saved countless lives, many businesses are still reluctant to invest in them. Here we look at ten reasons why and discuss some of the most common misconceptions.
1.) I don’t need a defibrillator
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the world’s biggest killer and can strike anyone, anywhere at any time. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean that you’re free from risk – there have been many high-profile cases among sports people in recent years and reports suggest that the number of young athletes suffering cardiac arrests could be as high as twenty per week.
Many people have no idea that they have an abnormal heart rhythm, even regular screening isn’t guaranteed to identify a problem as symptoms aren’t always present and heart conditions can develop quickly at any time. This is why you’ll now find defibrillators in schools, workplaces, transport hubs, sports venues and tourist spots – and they’re saving lives.
2.) They don’t make any difference
Outside of a hospital, the SCA survival rate is less than one in ten, but the average ambulance response time is over eleven minutes. Fast action is vital – rapid defibrillation is the only proven way to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest. If a victim is treated with CPR and defibrillation inside 60 seconds, their chance of survival is as high as 90%. Within 5 minutes, it’s 70% but it drops by 10% every minute after this. The best way to save someone’s life is to know the location of your nearest defibrillator so that you’re prepared for when an emergency happens.
3.) Defibrillators cost too much
The defibrillator cost may represent quite a serious investment, but it’s a small price to pay to save a life. The AED price should also be offset against the impact to your business of losing a valued member of your team.
Where to buy a defibrillator will have an effect too. A bundle package like the ones we offer will provide you with everything you need while keeping your costs to a minimum.
4.) They’re difficult to use
Anyone can use a portable AED, you don’t need to have a medical background or any special training. You can’t make a mistake and it’s impossible to shock someone who isn’t having a cardiac arrest. The unit will analyse and assess the victim’s heart rhythm and make all the decisions, guiding you through each step of the rescue process by providing audio and visual prompts. This will calm the user, save time and make all the difference to the victim’s survival.
An independent usability study has shown Lifeline AEDs to be the easiest to use on the market. They’re lightweight and compact for portability, and look sleek, professional and non-threatening – something that’s an important factor for anyone feeling daunted when using a defib for the very first time.
5.) I might be sued for using one
There’s plenty of legal protection from civil liability and there have been no known judgments against anyone who has used an AED to save someone’s life. In fact, the consequences of not using an AED are usually much more severe.
In the US, there have been numerous cases of businesses being sued under reverse liability laws for failing to provide access to AEDs. Many countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa also have extensive ‘duty to rescue’ civil laws which usually states that a rescuer must do what is reasonable in the situation.
6.) They’re unreliable
You never know when or where a sudden cardiac arrest will strike, so you do need to be sure that your defibrillator will be effective when you need it the most.
You should also feel reassured that your AED device is protected under warranty in case anything goes wrong. A warranty for an emergency defibrillator tends to provide cover from anywhere between 2 and 8 years – the longer the warranty, the more reliable the AED is likely to be. Every Lifeline AED is covered for 8 years, the only defibrillator on the market to offer a warranty of this length.
7.) AED’s are difficult to maintain
It’s not enough to just have an AED on hand – like any piece of safety equipment, it should be regularly inspected and maintained to make sure that it will be effective whatever the conditions.
The battery is the most common cause of AED failure. Its lifespan will reduce with every application and even if the device is never used, its power will still diminish over time. Always check the number of years and shocks that a defibrillator battery life will provide. You’ll then be aware of how often it will need replacing and can factor this frequency into the defibrillator price. A long battery life may make the initial purchase price a little more expensive, but it means that you won’t have to worry about replacement batteries quite as often.
All Lifeline AEDs have batteries that will last for either 5 years (125 shocks) or 7 years (300 shocks). Their self-test function also performs automatic testing of battery levels and circuitry to help keep their maintenance as hassle-free as possible.
8.) My workplace isn’t suitable
Defibrillators in the workplace may face very challenging conditions so it’s worth finding out what kind of testing an AED has been through to prove its reliability. Its Ingress Protection (IP) rating is an important indicator.
An IP rating shows how well an AED protects itself from dust and water ingress. The higher the IP, the better protected it is. Some businesses may require a defibrillator with a higher IP rating if their working environment is particularly harsh or extreme. An AED on a construction site, for example, could face more challenges from exposure to dust, dirt or impact than an AED that’s placed in an office environment.
All Lifeline AEDs are rated IP54 to IP55 and extensively tested to US military standards so they’re suitable for even the toughest conditions. To provide even more protection for your defibrillator, you might also consider an AED cabinet that has the added benefit of ensuring the unit is easily identifiable in an emergency situation.
We offer tailor-made packages for a variety of different environments that provide you with everything you need to save someone’s life when SCA strikes.
9.) They require a lot of training
There are no restrictions on who can use a defibrillator, but when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest you can never be too prepared. If you don’t have a medical background is quite likely that you’ll be in a state of panic during an emergency so even the most basic background knowledge can give you more confidence and help you to deal with the situation calmly and successfully. An AED training course is useful to ensure you have peace of mind.
We have a range of Lifeline training available, each of which can be taken on its own or combined to suit your needs. Our Bronze package provides you with online AED training from a Martek Lifecare representative so that you become confident with the equipment. With the Silver package, you’ll receive certified on-site CPR and AED training and the Gold package gives you six hours of training to the standard of TQUK Level 3 emergency first aid at work (RFQ) which is a 3 year accredited qualification.
10.) Training is too expensive
If the population of your environment is quite small or comprehensive training courses seem out of your budget, there are some kits available that will enable you to undergo some simple in-house defibrillator training. We have a range of equipment available including CPR equipment and AED training kits, AED training pads and CPR manikins. We can also provide AEDs that are specifically designed for practice which is a great way to gain some valuable experience.
So what are you waiting for?
Contact us to find out more about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and how to choose a defibrillator package that’s right for you.