Chances are, you are already familiar with an AED, a device that delivers electrical therapy to victims of various cardiac events, including a severe cardiac arrest. Having access to an AED in an emergency situation can be a life-saver and deciding to purchase one is an amazingly smart investment.
Since a selection of AEDs on today’s market can be rather expensive, it imposes a difficult question – Which one to choose?
There are so many different options and deciding on the one that suits you the best can be quite the task, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.
If that is the case, there is no need to worry. Here are the main things to consider and the most important questions to ask before purchasing an AED.
Ask the Right Questions
Start by asking the questions that can help you narrow your search and make the purchasing experience easy and stress-free. Here are a few suggestions:
- What is your budget?
- Are there any particular features you consider necessary?
- Who will be using the AED?
- Do you have any experience in using the AED?
- Are there any other things to keep in mind?
By answering these questions it will become more clear what type of AED you should be looking for. To help you out further, we collected the most crucial factors of this decision-making process.
1. The Price
For a lot of people, budget is a number one factor in this (and any other) purchase. The price range for an AED can go between $1500 and $20,000. The price is undeniably related to the number of features and various options that the device offers.
More well-known brands tend to fetch a higher price. Of course, in that situation, you’re paying for the name that guarantees quality but also for extra features and additions.
There are also some additional costs to keep in mind, such as pads and batteries whose price can vary depending on the type of unit itself.
2. Important Features
Naturally, cheaper devices offer basic features and necessary options that will get the job done. However, some more expensive AEDs have ECG monitoring, manual override options, improved battery life, voice prompts, and exterior housing units.
It is up to you to decide what features will suit your specific needs.
3. Ease of Use
There are different factors to consider when talking about ease of use. The first important factor would be the layout of the device and visual or verbal guidance.
The second one, however, would depend on the person who is using it.
Is it for a trained professional or a complete layman? Is it for personal use or perhaps placed in a public space (school, office, etc)? Will it stay in one place or will you bring you wherever you go (for example keeping it in your car)?
These factors can also determine the physical characteristics of the device.
Practice, Training, and Previous Experience
Previous experience is always useful but learning how to operate the AED can be easily accomplished. For starters, most AEDs have a practice mode that enables you to prepare yourself for a potential emergency.
That being said, an AED should have clear instructions so even a person without any training whatsoever would be able to use it properly.
Keep in mind that in an emergency situation every second counts, so an AED should be placed in a highly accessible place, visible and easily reached. But an even more important thing to remember is to remain calm, assess the situation, and follow the instructions.
Like most devices, an AED does require regular maintenance which includes changing the batteries, pads, and cables.
No matter which one you decide to get, handling the maintenance and use of an AED will guarantee a long-lasting and reliable device.
With this type of machine, in particular, it is absolutely essential that you take proper care of it. Any kind of malfunction can literally be a matter of life and death.
5. Support and Warranty
When buying an AED don’t forget to check a warranty and support.
Is it covered with any kind of warranty and for how long? What types of support does a particular model offer?
Preferably you want your AED to have 5 to 8 (or more) years of warranty, together with varying levels of support. That way you’ll make sure that you got your money’s worth. In other words, reading the fine print will guarantee a favourable deal at the best price possible.
6. State Registration
Some states require you to register the AED. It is a great way to protect yourself as a buyer and your patients (if you are buying it for a medical practice).
For that reason, it would be useful to explore and get familiar with the laws and legislations of your country. It might sound like an additional task that you need to consider, however, it shouldn’t be a hassle since the registration process is usually quite quick and simple.
By weighing all the options you will be able to make a perfect decision and choose an AED that suit your needs and budget in the most efficient way.
Hopefully, you will never have to use it, but if you do, you can have a piece of mind knowing that you have a reliable and life-saving machine by your side. It can make all the difference in a situation where time is of the essence.