It is essential for workplaces, public spaces, schools and even multifamily buildings like apartments to prepare for medical emergencies such as a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), especially as we move through a potentially long-term COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s some guidance for choosing the right defibrillator supplier and how to buy a defibrillator for the first time.
Look for Defibrillator Quality and Range
There are a lot of different type of defibrillators on the market and, like any device, there is a range of quality available. Look for a defibrillator supplier that offers a good range of AEDs (automated external defibrillators) from high-quality manufacturers like LifePak, Phillips, HeartSine and Mediana to ensure you get a product that works for your needs and will be reliable in an emergency.
Do They Offer AED Kits, Replacement Parts and Defibrillator Batteries?
It’s a good idea to partner with a supplier that you can use long-term because certain parts of your AED and AED kit will have to be replaced as they age or after use. This includes once-off items like electrode pads, gloves, masks and razors as well as more long-term replacement items like batteries. When you have a partner who can supply these as you need them, it minimises hassle, expense and administration, keeping all your AED needs with one trusted supplier.
What About Signage and Storage?
In addition to having an AED onsite, it’s important for apartment buildings, workplaces, schools and public spaces to correctly store and signpost this critical emergency device so that it is noticeable and easily accessed in the event of an SCA. Depending on your facility, you may need a custom signage and storage solution – for example, a school or office may need a different solution to a manufacturing facility, construction site, caravan park or marine facility. This also includes securing your AED storage appropriately to protect against misuse or theft while still keeping the AED quickly accessible in an emergency situation. An AED supplier who can handle your storage and signage needs makes the process of upgrading your facility’s emergency kit simple.
Useful and Practical Defibrillator Training
The fantastic thing about an AED is that you require no medical or first aid training to use it – the entire point of the device is that it can be used by any bystander when an SCA occurs, even a child. However, defibrillator training is always useful, helping people feel more confident and ready to act in an emergency situation. Your defibrillator supplier can perform defibrillator training for all your staff, showing them exactly how to recognise an SCA, how to act, and how to safely store and use the exact model that you have purchase for your facility.
A Guide for Buying a Defibrillator
When buying an AED for the first time, consider the following:
- Who is the defibrillator for? Children will require different treatment from an AED than an adult, so if you are likely to have to treat a child having an SCA, you will need to ask your supplier for a dual-mode AED (for children and adults) with a kit that offers separate paediatric defibrillator pads.
- Fully automatic or semi-automatic AED. AEDs come in semi-automatic and fully automatic versions, with the semi-automatic instructing the user when to apply the shock using a button on the device and the automatic version applying the shock itself when the shockable heart rhythm is detected. Choosing between the two depends on your budget (automatic AEDs can be more expensive), the training of your staff to remain cool and calm in an emergency, how much defibrillator training your staff will have, and how easy the AED should be to use in a high-stress, emergency situation.
- Registering your defibrillator. You can register your AED with emergency services in your area. This puts your AED on a network so that responders know where the closest AED is in the event of an SCA. This also often means that any consumables like replacement pads and basics in the kit will be replaced by the emergency services provider who uses your AED and that they can access the data collected by your AED for that patient. Depending on your area, you can register with SA Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance, Ambulance Victoria, and other AED registries. Your AED supplier will be able to inform you of how to add your AED to the local network in your area.
- Additional parts for your AED kit. Your AED kit should contain all consumables needed to treat an SCA, including a razor, gloves and electrode pads. However, it is also advised that you keep additional parts in your kit for use during life-saving treatment, including a face shield or mask (to prevent transmission of germs or the coronavirus), additional gloves as more than one person is usually needed to help perform bystander CPR, scissors to help cut away clothing from the chest, and a towel to wipe away sweat or fluids from the patient’s chest.
To find out more about AEDs, kits, signage, replacement parts and more, speak to the team at DefibsPlus today. We supply high-quality AEDs to facilities and individuals in Australia, providing a comprehensive service that includes defibrillator training.