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Choosing the Right AED

Zoll AED

By: ZOLL Medical

Selecting the right AED equipment can seem like a daunting task. There are considerations for using the devices properly; training staff on its use; and maintaining the equipment over time. We sat down with ZOLL Medical to get the ins and outs of AEDs.

Q. OSHA advises that AEDs be considered for inclusion in workplace first-aid programs. What do companies need to know to select the right AED for their company?

The biggest mistake you can make is to buy based on price point; the least expensive isn’t always the best. If faced with a medical emergency, would you want to use the cheapest device to save your life? Also, consider the cost of ownership over the lifetime of a device. Sometimes, the cheaper up-front costs have higher long-term expenses.

Q. Is it difficult to purchase an AED?

Purchasing an AED is as easy as using one. However, each facility is unique and will have different requirements. We suggest that you work with one of our product specialists. They can assess your specific situation and be able to offer education and guidance on implementation, training, legal requirements within your industry, placement locations and ongoing maintenance programs.

Q. Once companies make the purchase, where should they put the AED in the facility?

Effective AED programs are designed to deliver a shock to a victim within three-to-five minutes after a collapse. We suggest using a three-minute guideline to help determine how many AEDs are needed and where to place them. We recommend they be easy to access and located in places with high foot traffic, and not behind a desk or locked in a cabinet.

Q. Are employees required to have training on how to use an AED?

Having an AED available significantly increases a victim’s chances of survival. Having clear procedures and CPR/AED-trained volunteers increases those chances. Some states require AED owners to have responders with current AED/CPR certifications. If you are not sure what your state requirements are, you can find out here:

Q. How is the AED Maintainted Over Time; Is There a Cost Associated?

The ZOLL® AED Plus® performs periodic self-tests of critical components and battery power status to ensure readiness. The device will alert you with a “beep” and a red “X” on the readiness indicator, if your unit requires attention. A green check mark on the readiness indicator tells you the AED has passed its self-tests and is ready for use. Adult CPR-D electrode pads, as well as batteries, last an industry-leading five years. Longer life pads and batteries reduce the frequency of maintenance, which improves readiness and reduces replacement costs.

We also offer a program-management service for businesses challenged with maintaining more than a few AEDs. This service delivers the tools and guidance you need to manage your AED program using our interactive, web-based system to ensure compliance; alert you on recalls; update training certifications; and overall time management.

Q. When is it necessary to use an AED on someone? Are there times when it shouldn’t be used?

AEDs are safe to use and will not shock someone with a normal heart rhythm. The ZOLL AED Plus provides visual and audio prompts to guide a rescuer in the delivery of high-quality CPR, and when required, a defibrillating shock. AEDs are designed to shock only very specific lethal heart rhythms.

Only use an AED on someone who is unresponsive and not breathing.

Q. Is there anything else companies should know as they explore purchasing an AED?

As mentioned, each facility is unique and will have different requirements. We suggest that you discuss the steps to implement a successful AED program with one of our product specialists. (

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