The Complete Guide to
AED Automated External Defibrillators
Thursday, October 6, 2005
What is a Defibrillator?
A defibrillator is
a machine which is used to administer
an electric shock to the heart in order to reestablish a normal heart
It is commonly referred to as an
AED but sometimes referred to as an Automated External Defibrillator
or Automatic External Defibrillator.
Are Defibrillators Difficult to
Not at all. In fact,
defibrillators are quite simple to use.
When you open the machine there is
a diagram explaining where to place each of the two pads on the
torso of the victim. There is also a voice programmed into the
defibrillator unit which will explain exactly what needs to be done. You
will not be administering the shock. The defibrillator will make the
determination as to whether a shock should be administered.
Are Defibrillators Dangerous?
The only point where the
defibrillator can be dangerous is when a shock is being
administered. The machine, however, will give advance warning
before the shock is given and instruct users to "clear."
There are warnings that come with
each unit which should be reviewed prior to use.
Many local first aid squads will
provide training as well as other commercial businesses in the
medical field. Also, the American Heart Association has
defibrillator training if a branch is close to you.
You should couple defibrillator
training up with a CPR course as CPR training is also highly
recommended before administering first aid to a potential heart
Should I Purchase a Defibrillator
for my Home or Business?
Absolutely. Most police
departments now have AED defibrillator machines in the patrol cars.
Additionally, defibrillators are showing up at airports, malls, and
other public places.
Regarding your home, defibrillators
are especially recommended if someone in the household is vulnerable
to a heart attack.
In your business, purchasing a
defibrillator is an excellent statement to both your employees and
your customers that you care.
Remember, when the heart stops,
there are only minutes before brain damage begins and eventually
death. If the response time for your local rescue squad is
five minutes (which is good in many places), brain damage has
probably already begun.
How Much do Defibrillators Cost?
Defibrillators have been
steadily coming down in price. At one point they all went for
about $3,000.00. Now, some units are going for about
What Steps Should I take Before
Purchasing a Defibrillator?
The American Heart Association
recommends that a licensed physician or a medical authority be
involved with the purchase of defibrillator.
This is a quality control mechanism. The licensed physician or
medical authority will ensure that all designated responders are
properly trained and that the AED is properly maintained. He or
she also can help establishments develop an emergency response
plan for the AED program.
Good luck, and we hope we cleared
some things up for you.
Thursday, October 6, 2005
FDA Page on Defibrillators
American Heart Association Page on Defibrillators
The following companies manufacture
defibrillators and are listed on the American Heart
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742
16931 Millikan Avenue
Irvine, CA 92606
753 Boston Post Road
Guilford, CT 06437
Laboratories, Inc. (Acquired by Welch Allyn – April 2003)
1000 Asbury Dr., No. 17
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089
Philips Medical Systems/Heartstream
11811 Willows Road NE
PO Box 97006
Redmond, WA 98073-9706
(800) 442-1142 or (425) 867-4000
2301 5th AvenueSuite 200
Seattle, WA 98121
ZOLL Medical Corporation
269 Mill Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824-4105
25892 Jamon Lane
Mission Viejo, California 92691
Friday, June 24, 2005