Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Importance of an On-site Automated External Defibrillator

On-Site AEDs Save Lives

Over 350,000 Americans die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. Many of these people could have survived if they had been treated with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Specifically designed for use by people with no medical background, an AED will quickly restore regular heart rhythm for a person suffering from cardiac arrest.
When a person experiences cardiac arrest, their heart beats in a dangerous and erratic pattern called a cardiac arrhythmia. While in this condition, the heart fails to properly pump oxygenated blood to the brain. For each minute the brain is deprived of oxygen, a person’s chance of survival decreases by about seven to ten percent. If not corrected with a defibrillator within three to five minutes, a cardiac arrhythmia can cause irreversible brain damage and death.
An AED works by first analyzing the rhythm of the patient’s heart. If the built-in computer detects an abnormal heart rhythm, it will deliver a shock through its adhesive electrode pads. The current travels through the patient’s chest wall to the heart.
All AEDs are designed to be simple and easy-to-use. The operator is guided by audible and visible instructions from the AED’s display. Some models even include step-by-step instructions for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. All new models are FDA-approved, and even a very basic AED is designed to provide reliable service.
The price for a new AED unit ranges from about $1200 to $2900 depending on the model. Re-certified, pre-owned units are also available at HeartSmart.com starting at $795. These refurbished AED units are just as reliable as new models, and they offer the same lifesaving capability at a reduced price. To guarantee this promise, all AED units include a warranty.
The heart of an AED is the battery. An AED must have a fully charged battery to deliver the proper shock when needed. Most AED batteries have a shelf-life of about four years, but the shelf-life can vary depending on the model. Most units perform periodic self-checks to test the battery and circuitry condition. A circuit malfunction or low battery will be shown on the display. Battery replacement costs vary, but AED batteries usually range in price from about $75 to $250.
Since AED electrode pads are designed for single use only, most manufacturers recommend that at least two sets be available in case of multiple emergencies. The shelf-life for most pads is about two years, but replacement intervals can vary depending on the model. Separate pads must be used for adults and children. It is wise to keep both adult and pediatric pads available. Prices range from $40 to $60 for adult pads. Pediatric pads cost about $100.
Because it is important that AEDs be highly visible and readily accessible, they are often displayed in clearly marked AED wall-mounted cabinets. Optional audible alarm, strobe and siren features are often built into the cabinets to alert nearby employees or staff. In addition to wall cabinets, AED cases are also available for situations where units must be mobile.
Other AED accessories include rescue kits. These kits are designed to be used along with AED units and include items such as a CPR mask, sterile wipes, scissors, gloves and more.
An effective AED program usually includes educational training materials for employees and staff. These materials include items such as training manuals, reference guides, pamphlets, practice mannequins, remote control units and training electrode pads. Awareness posters, facility decals and wall signs should always displayed wherever AED units are kept.
An excellent resource for brand-name AED kits and accessories, HeartSmart.com offers the lowest pricing available on the web. Special pricing is available for schools, seniors groups, military groups, houses of worship, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other organizations.
Orders of $50 or more of select Heart Smart AED products and accessories receive free shipping. A little green truck logo appears with all products that qualify. Any product shipped to an APO, FPO or a U.S. military base automatically receives free shipping.

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