Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the biggest health problems in the world that remains unsolved. The majority of cardiac arrests occur out of the hospital, which has created a demand for external, home-based defibrillators, also referred to as automated external defibrillators or AEDs.
It is currently unknown what effects such a device has on community mortality risk, but research has shown impressive results in cases of cardiac arrest and the device being immediately available.
Because AEDs are generally low cost, easy to use, and require minimal maintenance, it is easy to see why there is such a high demand for these devices in the first place. Not to mention the immediate availability of a device that could potentially save a life.
So, if you’re in search of one such AED device, you’re in the right place. In the following paragraphs, we’ll inform you of these devices as well as recommend some of our best AED choices. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Home AED Defibrillators: Everything You Need To Know
What Is an AED Defibrillator?
Also known as the portable defibrillator, the AED device is a readily available defibrillator used in cases of sudden, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The portable defibrillator is designed to shock (provide a dose of electric current) a failing heart into a regular heartbeat. The AED device is used as first aid in sudden cardiac arrest cases until the arrival of medical professionals.
Is Professional Training Required for AED Use?
A certain level of knowledge is required before the use of an AED device.
First of all, it is essential to have some training in CPR. Starting CPR right after the cardiac arrest has occurred, you can double the chance of the AED’s success and the chance of survival.
So, upon a cardiac arrest, make sure that you or someone near you contacts 911 immediately. If you don’t know CPR, a 911 operator can guide you through it. If you do know CPR, then you should start performing it right away. You will have to perform CPR even if you do have an AED device.
Now, if you do have an AED device nearby, it is important to know how to use it properly, to avoid complications and adverse effects. The majority of AED devices come with voice commands, guide, and visual display on how the device should be used. However, during someone’s cardiac arrest isn’t the best time to educated yourself on how AEDs work.
So, what we recommend is to either take an AED course, check online video guides and explanations provided by medical professionals, or simply use the instruction manual provided with the device. Read everything in advance, so you can be fully prepared when needed.
How To Use an AED Defibrillator?
If you want to learn in detail how to properly use an AED defibrillator, make sure to check some of the AED training courses provided by the Red Cross all over the country. There are some online courses you can take as well. However, taking proper training will ensure you use the device properly and potentially save someone’s life.
Once again, we have to emphasize that there is always the option of having a 911 operator guide you through the use of an AED device.
We’re not going to provide you with a walkthrough in regards to the use of an AED device, solely because it is important one learns that directly from trained medical professionals!
Other Things To Consider When Dealing With an AED Defibrillator
- AEDs can only be used by trained, educated people. If no one trained is around during a sudden cardiac arrest, it is possible to have a 911 operator guide through the process.
- AEDs cannot be used by a person with a sudden cardiac arrest; there needs to be another person to help out.
- Out-of-hospital defibrillator used has shown to increase the chances of survival from 2% to 12% in case of a sudden cardiac arrest, but only if combined with proper CPR.
- Sometimes it is not essential for high-risk families to have at-home portable defibrillators since sudden cardiac arrest doesn’t always happen to those of high risk.
- It can be useful to have an AED device available in communities, schools, airports, and other high-traffic areas so that immediate help is available to everyone equally.
Our Top 3 HeartStart AED Defibrillator Recommendation
1. Philips HeartStart AED Defibrillator
When you’re buying a device for the purpose of potentially saving a life, you only want the best. And, in our humble opinion, the Philips HeartStart AED defibrillator is currently the best one on the market. This AED device is portable, of course, has an 8-year-long manufacturer’s warranty, and is extremely easy to use; probably the easiest to use out of the three defibrillators we’ll talk about.
Why Should You Choose Philips HeartStart?
- It is designed for a prompt response
- It has step-by-step voice command and even CPR guidance
- The guidance is provided in real-time
- It features a pre-installed battery and SMART pads
- It is suitable for infant/child use due to pre-installed Child Pads
- It is lightweight, at only 5.5 pounds
- There is a quick setup guide as well
- There is a Slim Carry Case
- It is cost-effective
- It is FDA approved
As you can see, this AED is designed for easy use and quick response when it’s needed the most. Everything is pre-installed (even the defibrillator pads), and the guide will help you with CPR and AED use, so you can be sure to provide proper help even if you’re not trained.
The device is completely reliable; it even includes a CPR metronome so you can know when exactly to provide chest compressions and breathing aid. In case the device is used for children, there is also a Child Pads cartridge pre-installed.
Note: The Philips HeartStart AED is designed for use on adults over 25kg or 55lbs, and children under 25kg or 55lbs (age 0 to 8).
2. Philips HeartStart OnSite AED Defibrillator
Our second recommendation is another Philips AED defibrillator. It is well known that Philips is one of the best brands when it comes to medical innovations and portable medical devices, and we are talking about the HeartStart Philips AED brand.
So, the fact that we’ve included two of their AEDs is not surprising. This defibrillator comes ready-to-rescue. It is pre-installed and the device is incredibly easy to use. For example, all you have to do to activate it is pull the handle at the front of the defibrillator.
Why Should You Choose Philips HeartStart OnSite?
- It is designed for a ready-to-use, prompt response
- The device is pre-installed in the carrying case
- The batteries and pads are pre-installed in the device
- It has guided CPR and AED audio instruction (HeartStart OnSite)
- It features the SMART Biphasic therapy
- It has a Quick Shock feature
- It has integrated SMART pads
- There is the clear, intuitive, icon-driven instruction
- It is extremely lightweight, at only 3.3 pounds
- It comes with a SMART carrying case
In case of a sudden cardiac arrest, this is the device you want by your side. It is designed for a quick and effective response. All of the features of this AED are there to make the shock and CPR resuscitation effective, hence the SMART features, numerous therapy, and compression deliveries, and SMART pads. Not to mention how helpful is the guided instruction for CPR and AED use; this alone increases the chance of saving a life even when the person doing it is no professionally trained.
Note: The Philips HeartStart OnSite AED is designed for use on adults over 25kg or 55lbs, and children under 25kg or 55lbs (age 0 to 8). The SMART analysis automatically assesses whether the heart rhythm is the one of an adult or a child.
3. Philips HeartStart FR3 AED
The Philips HeartStart FR3 defibrillator is probably one of the most professional out-of-hospital portable defibrillators on the market. This device is a beast; it is designed to give the user a 100% chance of saving a life.
There is an incredible amount of aiding features and helpful abilities of the device, including a highly detailed CPR and AED use instruction, even when used on infants or children. The FR3 is designed to eliminate unnecessary steps and reduce deployment time so that you can apply the right therapy to the patient as fast as it is possible.
Why Should You Choose Philips HeartStart FR3?
- It is designed for a fast and effective response
- It has an automatic TURN-ON when the case is opened
- It has bilingual capabilities (language card)
- It takes less than 8 seconds to deliver a shock
- There are clear CPR and AED use instructions
- It takes fewer steps to deliver the therapy
- It is rugged and withstanding demanding surroundings
- The device is lightweight, at only 3.5 pounds
- It comes with a carrying case
The FR3 AED is designed to SAVE TIME. The innovators at Philips have discovered how precious every second is when saving a life. That is why this device is designed to not only be ready to use upon case opening but also save seconds by minimizing unnecessary steps (for example, the Fast Handoff feature).
This AED is designed to be used even in the most demanding environments. There are also the Child/Infant Key features, the ability to change the language of the unit and the instructions, as well as the automatic strength adjustment of the defibrillator (depending on whom you’re using it). The device is also easy to configure thanks to the Bluetooth connection.
Note: The Philips HeartStart FR3 AED is designed for use on adults over 25kg or 55lbs, and children under 25kg or 55lbs (age 0 to 8). It uses the same pads for adults and children/infants, thanks to the Infant/Child Key. This removes the need for separate pads, which further saves precious time.
What To Look For In An AED Device?
For an AED device to be reliable and suitable for a quick response in life-harming situations of cardiac arrest, it is essential to have the following features and capabilities;
- Fast Therapy Provider – the device needs to be designed for a fast therapy providing, or a quick response. The majority of HeartStart devices activate upon case opening and can be used right away.
- Easy and Guided Use – even though the use of a defibrillator requires proper training, the devices need to provide audio and visual instructions on CPR and AED use. The device should guide in real-time and have proper timing in regards to proper CPR compression, breathing aid, and AED therapy.
- Infant/Child Use Option – a proper device needs to be able to provide cardiac arrest therapy to both adults and children. Preferably, the device has either separate pads for children or uses adjustable or the same pads for both adults and children to minimize time waste.
- Quick Shock Therapy – the AED device needs to provide quick shock therapy. This means that each shock will take less than 10 seconds to deliver, and even less time to charge. Time is crucial in cases of cardiac arrest, so don’t buy an AED device that doesn’t have this capability.
- Pre-installed Features – a proper AED device need to have the essential features pre-installed; for example, a pre-installed battery, pads, etc. Without these features, the device will have you waste time by requiring the additional installation of the essential features.
- Long-term Warranty – it is also essential for such a critical device to have a proper warranty. For example, the HeartStart AEDs have a manufacturer’s warranty between 5 and 8 years. You can even go for devices with an even longer warranty, or extend the warranty by having your AEDs registered online.
Hopefully, our insight into the world of AEDs and HeartStart devices was helpful and useful. For more information about the AED devices, make sure to check online or physical AED or CPR courses or informative content provided by medical professionals. Before buying an AED device, you must be aware of the state laws regarding defibrillators. So, for information on that, make sure to consult the NCSL site regarding state/federal action and requirements on AEDs.