If you’re new to AEDs, or just need a refresher, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll cover one of the questions we get asked the most at Prime Medical Training: “What are the different types of AEDs?” Because we’re passionate about sharing our knowledge and providing our clients with the best information available, here’s our guide to AEDs.
Why Are There Different Types of AED?
What is an AED, and why are there different types? Knowing these different types of AED is crucial to know which device you should or shouldn’t use when you witness someone in cardiac arrest — since every situation is unique.
The automated external defibrillator (AED) is only one type of defibrillator. So, what is a defibrillator in the first place? This device sends electrical energy to shock the heart to help treat someone experiencing a cardiac arrest. Other types of defibrillators include:
- Manual External Defibrillator: These machines are suited for more experienced handlers and usually found in hospitals and ambulances.
- Manual Internal Defibrillator: You can find these advanced defibrillators in operating rooms. They use internal paddles to send electrical shocks to the heart.
- Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator: Also known as the automatic internal cardiac defibrillator (AICD), this machine is like a pacemaker, constantly monitoring heart rhythm. It then determines how much voltage it will deliver when abnormalities are detected.
- Wearable Cardiac Defibrillator: This device came after experts conducted lengthy research on automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators (AICD). Wearable defibrillators are portable and can monitor patients continually.
What Is the Difference Between Public Access & Professional AEDs?
The main difference between the two types of AEDs is the location and the training needed to operate each type of device.
You can find public access AEDs in public locations such as airports, community centers, government buildings, hospitals, and schools. The general public with minimal training can use these machines whenever someone in the area goes into sudden cardiac arrest, and individuals are trained to use AEDs in most first aid certification courses.
Meanwhile, you can find professional AEDs where you can typically find first responders. That is, you can find these machines in professional settings, including hospitals and ambulances. Professionals with more extensive AED training like emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics usually operate these machines.
How Do AEDs Work?
AEDs generally work just like other defibrillators. These machines send shocks to the heart to help revive people who go into cardiac arrest. However, since an AED is automatic, it uses technology to make heart rate analysis much easier on your part as the machine operator. AEDs usually come with voice prompts to guide their users.
In other words, AEDs have internal mechanisms to assess a patient’s heart rate. Once you attach the electrodes (the sticky pads with sensors), the machine will analyze the patient’s heart rhythm. After analyzing the rhythm the AED will determine whether the patient’s heart needs an electric shock.
If the device determines that the patient needs an electric shock, it will prompt you to press the button to deliver the electric shock. Totally automatic AED’s will deliver the electric shock without you having to press a button to provide the shock.
What Is the Best Place To Buy an AED?
We recommend purchasing AED’s directly from AED Source. AED Source offers a selection of AEDs and AED accessories that will work for any organization or community to help keep it safe and prepared.
AED cost will vary depending on the type of machine and the features of the particular device. You can expect to budget somewhere between $1,245 and $2,990 for an AED. While most AED’s com with everything you need there are additional AED accessories that range from $15-$649. These accessories are things like extra electrodes, carrying cases, and various first responder kits to complement your AED. Visit our shop today to get the competitively priced AEDs you need for your workplace or community.