Imagine this: An employee suddenly collapses at work, suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. Luckily, your business has an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on-site, and a coworker quickly retrieves the device, administers life-saving treatment, and saves their colleague’s life. This scenario is not far-fetched. AEDs are becoming a crucial component of workplace safety, and having a comprehensive AED program can mean the difference between life and death. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of how to get an AED for your business, choosing the best device, and implementing an effective AED program to ensure the safety of your employees and visitors.
Sudden cardiac arrests claim over 350,000 lives in the United States each year, and they can strike anyone, anywhere, and at any time – even in the workplace. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are portable devices that deliver an electric shock to the heart, helping to restore a normal, effective heart rhythm during a cardiac arrest. Studies show that when AEDs are used within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, the survival rate can increase from 10% to as high as 70%.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that businesses have AED programs in place, as having immediate access to these life-saving devices can drastically improve the chances of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Implementing an AED program in the workplace not only demonstrates a commitment to employee safety but also helps to create a safer environment for all occupants.
The need for an AED unit in your workplace depends on various factors such as:
Size of the establishment
For example, industries involving physical exertion, exposure to hazardous substances, high-stress environments, or working in remote locations may be at a higher risk of experiencing cardiac events or other medical emergencies. By evaluating these factors, you can make informed decisions about the number of AEDs needed and their optimal placement within your facility.
The number of AEDs required heavily depends on the size and layout of your workplace. In larger workplaces, multiple AEDs may be necessary to ensure quick access in the event of a cardiac emergency. Additionally, if young children are frequently present, it’s important to consider AEDs with pediatric pads. A careful evaluation of your business’s AED needs can result in a safer environment that is well-equipped to handle cardiac emergencies and has the potential to save lives.
Selecting the right AED device for your enterprise is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the success of your AED program. The American Heart Association emphasizes that while they don’t recommend one device over another, considerations like ease of use, FDA clearance, and specific business needs are vital when determining the best AED device. Additionally, factors such as maintenance needs, durability, and accessibility should not be overlooked when choosing an AED.
In the following sections, we’ll explore AED reviews, spotlighting prominent AED manufacturers, their offerings, and essential features. This is to assist you in making a well-informed decision about the ideal AED for your business environment.
The foremost AED manufacturers include Zoll, Philips, Physio-Control (now a part of Stryker), Heartsine (now also part of Stryker, Defibtech, and Cardiac Science. These manufacturers offer a range of AED products that differ in terms of features, design, cost, and battery life. For instance, Zoll AEDs have a distinct setup and design compared to Philips Defibrillators, and there may be variations in cost and battery life between the brands. A careful assessment of your organization’s specific needs is of utmost importance when choosing an AED machine.
Comparing AED manufacturers can assist businesses in making informed decisions regarding their AED purchase, especially if the location frequently experiences medical emergencies. Some manufacturers offer AEDs with the option to add pediatric pads for use in emergencies involving young children. Comprehending the nuances between top AED manufacturers and their products enables you to pick the most suitable device for your business, thereby ensuring optimal safety for your employees and visitors.
AEDs are designed to be user-friendly, even for individuals with minimal medical training. Key features of AEDs include voice cues that provide calm, clear, and concise instructions in pace with the user, guiding them through step-by-step rescue and CPR procedures. Some AEDs, such as the Philips HeartStart Onsite AED, offer a Quick Shock feature. This helps to reduce chest compression interruptions and reduces the time for shock delivery.
Additional features to look for in an AED include Infant/Child SMART Pads, which automatically lower the defibrillator level and provide CPR instructions for an infant/child, especially when young children are present. SMART Biphasic Therapy, a therapy designed to minimize potential side effects and/or risks to the heart by deploying a high current in combination with a lower energy dose, is another important feature. A thorough understanding of the key features of AEDs enables you to choose a device that is user-friendly and effective in saving lives during sudden cardiac arrests.
The cost of business AED packages can range from less than $1,200.00 to over $2,500.00, depending on the specific device and features. If young children are present in your organization, it’s important to consider AEDs with pediatric pads or pediatric features. There are a few AEDs that allow you to switch the AED to pediatric mode but still use the adult electrode pads. In addition to the initial purchase price of the AED, there may be recurring costs associated with AEDs, such as replacement accessories such as the batteries and electrode pads which both expire.
To ensure that your AED remains functional and ready for use, regular maintenance checks and inspections should be performed, and batteries and pads should be replaced every two to five years, adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Evaluating the cost and maintenance requirements of different AED devices is a crucial step in making an informed decision that aligns with your budget and safety requirements.
After choosing the right AED device for your business, implementing an effective AED program that encompasses training, maintenance, and emergency response planning is indispensable. Establishing a comprehensive AED program ensures that your employees are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies and that your AED equipment is well-maintained and ready for use.
In the following subsections, we will discuss the essential components of a successful AED program, including AED training and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), developing an AED maintenance plan, and creating an emergency response plan.
Training employees in CPR and the use of AEDs is a critical component of an effective AED program. Prompt defibrillation is essential during cardiac arrest, as survival rates can increase significantly when AEDs are used within the first few minutes of collapse. Regular CPR and AED training should be provided to employees, with refresher courses offered annually to ensure that skills and knowledge remain up-to-date.
A quality CPR and AED training program should cover essential components such as:
Safe and supportive positioning
Proper compression rate and depth
Chest compression fraction
Effective use of an AED
The importance of high-quality CPR techniques
Providing comprehensive training not only maximizes the effectiveness of your AED program but also ensures your employees are well-prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.
A well-maintained AED is essential for the success of your AED program, as it ensures that the device remains functional and ready for use when needed. Developing an AED maintenance plan involves:
Conducting regular visual inspections
Checking electrode expiration dates
Performing routine tests and inspections
Cleaning and disinfecting the device as needed
Some AED manufacturers and distributors, such as American AED, offer lifetime maintenance notification and support services to help businesses stay on top of their AED maintenance requirements. Establishing a comprehensive maintenance plan guarantees the reliability of your AED equipment and prepares you for cardiac emergencies.
An effective emergency response plan is a crucial part of an AED program, as it ensures the correct and efficient use of AEDs in the event of an emergency. Steps to develop a comprehensive emergency response plan include:
Identifying key personnel, such as a Cardiac Emergency Response Team, and outlining their roles and responsibilities.
Establishing procedures for reporting emergencies and evacuating the workplace.
Providing training and resources to employees, including CPR and AED training.
Regular drills and exercises should be conducted to familiarize employees with the emergency response plan and ensure that they are able to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of a cardiac arrest. Creating a comprehensive emergency response plan not only helps save lives at your workplace but also shows your dedication towards employee safety.
While purchasing an AED is an important investment in workplace safety, the cost can be a concern for some businesses. Fortunately, there are several funding options available to offset the cost of an AED, such as AED grants and alternative funding sources. AED grant programs, such as AEDGrant.com’s Public & Private Entities Grant and Cardiac Life’s AED grants, provide funding for AED purchases.
In the following subsections, we will discuss the process of applying for AED grants, as well as exploring alternative funding options such as corporate sponsorships and community partnerships to support your AED purchase.
Applying for AED grants can be a straightforward process. To apply, simply follow these steps:
Fill out a one-page application.
Submit the application via email, fax, or mail to organizations such as AEDGrant.com and Cardiac Life.
In the grant application, provide information about your organization, how the funding will be utilized, and any tax-exempt status (for non-profit organizations).
Securing an AED grant aids businesses in offsetting the costs of implementing an AED program, thereby ensuring their workplace is equipped with life-saving devices. Thoroughly reviewing the specific requirements of each grant program prior to submitting an application enhances your chances of receiving funding.
In addition to AED grants, there are other funding sources available to help support your AED purchase. Alternative methods of financing an AED purchase for a business may include:
Organizing fundraisers such as car washes, bake sales, and raffles
Utilizing crowdfunding platforms like GotAED
Investigating matching grant opportunities
Corporate sponsorships, such as those offered by:
Bank of America
can also provide support for AED purchases. Community partnerships can facilitate the funding of AEDs through grant programs, charity events, and fundraising initiatives, ultimately increasing access to AEDs and promoting public safety.
Compliance with local and state regulations concerning AEDs is mandatory for ensuring legal compliance, protecting your organization, and ensuring readiness. Although there is currently no federal law requiring businesses to possess AEDs, many states have implemented laws and regulations that necessitate specific industries and public gathering places to have AEDs accessible.
In addition to these requirements, some states have AED registries and notification requirements for entities that purchase, supply, or acquire AEDs. By familiarizing yourself with and adhering to local and state regulations regarding AEDs, you can mitigate potential legal risks and maintain a safe environment for your employees and visitors.
Implementing an AED program in your workplace is an essential investment in the safety and well-being of your employees and visitors. By understanding the importance of AEDs, assessing your business’s needs, selecting the best device, and implementing an effective AED program, you can create a safer environment that is prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies. With the support of funding options such as AED grants, corporate sponsorships, and community partnerships, you can make this life-saving investment more accessible for your business, ultimately contributing to a safer community for all.
While there is no specific requirement from OSHA mandating businesses to have an AED, having one in the workplace can be beneficial in the event of a cardiac emergency. AEDs are automated and can easily be used by untrained bystanders, making them a good investment for businesses with 10 or more employees, guests, or customers who may be at higher risk for cardiac arrest.
The cost of an AED for a business can vary between $1400 to over $2500 depending on the model and features chosen.
When evaluating your business’s AED needs, consider employee age and health demographics, workplace size, industry-specific risk factors, and whether young children are present in the workplace.
Choose the best AED for small business by comparing leading manufacturers and their products in terms of ease of use, maintenance requirements, durability, and accessibility.
Regular AED maintenance is essential to ensure that the device is in working condition and ready to be used in an emergency situation, providing a potentially life-saving response.
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