An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is highly-recommended for workplaces, factories, public spaces, shopping centres and gyms as a standard piece of First Aid equipment. In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the rapid application of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation within the first 2-4 minutes of the event gives the victim the best chance of survival as well as the best chance at reducing critical organ damage. If you are considering buying an AED for your workplace or home, then here’s some advice to help make this decision a bit simpler.
Buying Tips – How to Find a Good-Quality AED
- Work with an established organisation. You need a team that understands the technology in-depth and is able to not only explain different AED functions, but can advise you on the most appropriate AED for your needs and budget.
- Don’t just focus on the initial cost. Good quality AEDs are not inexpensive, and while budget is an understandable factor, it is important to look at the quality and value you are getting for your money rather than just the price tag.
- Consider maintenance costs. The initial cost of your AED is only one part of the cost of owning an AED. Be sure to ask about maintenance costs for different models, battery replacement intervals and costs, electrode pad replacement costs, and servicing costs.
- Ease of maintenance – Maintaining the AED should be as easy as possible, requiring little time and inconvenience, in order to make it quick and simple to keep it in good working order. Look for units that offer self-monitoring and can alert you visually or audibly if it needs servicing, a repair or a software update. Take a look through the manual to see how complex or simple the maintenance for different units is.
- Ease of use – The easier it is to use an AED, the more likely a bystander will be to use it, so this is a very important factor in choosing an AED. Look for features like easy-to-follow voice or visual commands, minimal steps required to use the device, and fewer moving parts or accessories.
- Read the warranty. Different manufacturers offer different warranties, with warranties covering specific parts and being valid under specific conditions. Be sure to find a unit where the warranty suits your requirements and be clear on what it does and does not cover, under what circumstances, and for what length of time.
- Use an Australian supplier. All Australian AED suppliers are required to sell goods that meet the rigorous standards put in place by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This will ensure that you are getting a unit that is reliable, manufactured to a very high standard, and safe to use.
What is an IP Rating?
One of the terms you will come across when looking for an AED in Australia is an IP (International Protection) rating. Every AED has an IP rating which classifies the unit in terms of different protection levels for electrical devices, regarding to how well the unit is protected against moisture, dust or other intrusions that can potentially compromise performance.
Here’s how to read and understand an IP rating:
- The first number – This refers to protection against solid particles like dust.
- The second number – This refers to protection against moisture.
The higher the number, the more resistant the unit is to intrusion from either solid and/or liquid matter.
The important thing is that higher values don’t necessarily mean a better product – it is more about the environment in which you intend to use the AED. Lower IP ratings are sufficient for indoor AEDs (for example, those used in schools, most workplaces, and homes), while higher IP ratings are better for outdoor or multi-environment use (for example, those used in campgrounds, in gyms with pools, and in remote outdoor locations).
Speak to an Experienced, Trusted Supplier of AEDs in Australia
At DefibsPlus, we’re advocates for placing AEDs in every public space, shopping centre, workplace, gym and school so that bystanders are empowered to act when SCA strikes. With over 75% of SCAs happening out of hospitals in our homes and workplaces, we all need to work together to save lives. Contact us today and find out more about AEDs and defibrillator training.