Should I buy a home defibrillator/AED?
A defibrillator is a medical device used to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are defibrillators designed to be used by members of the public with no formal medical training.
AEDs are easy to use and provide the rescuer with easy to follow voice and visual prompts. They are becoming increasing common in public places such as schools, colleges, shops and transit stations.
With the increasing awareness of the role of AEDs in improving survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), more people are opting to invest in a defibrillator at home.
When considering whether to buy a home defibrillator/AED, there are a number of aspects which should be considered:
Although AEDs are easy to use, it is worthwhile undertaking a basic training course in CPR and use of an AED. This will increase your confidence in recognising a cardiac arrest and using an AED promptly.
Many manufacturers can supply basic instructional resources such as videos or signpost you to a local course.
Storing / security of the device
An AED needs to be kept dry and away from extremes of temperature. In addition, AEDs may also be targets for thieves so simple steps should be taken to ensure the device is secure.
Specially designed AED cabinets can be sourced which provide a simple solution for storing an AED and its accessories.
Although prices have decreased, AEDs are still reasonably expensive pieces of medical equipment. In addition there are ongoing costs in maintaining an AED such as:
- Replacement chest pads
- Replacement batteries
- Care and maintenance of the AED cabinet
These costs should not be underestimated. Replacement chest pads can cost a significant amount of money.