Intelligent Life-Saving Technology & Common Misperceptions about AEDs

HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P AED

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have steadily made their way into schools, workplaces, hotels, malls, airports, athletics, churches and government settings.  Despite this fast growing adoption of these easy-to-use life-saving devices, many have not given consideration to buying these due to several misperceptions about AEDs:

“We don’t need AEDs because we would simply call 911.”  – In fact most Fire Departments and First Responders highly encourage public access defibrillation since they realize they often can’t arrive fast enough to save a life.  Public Access defibrillation is a vital part of the “Chain of Survival.”

“We have a young workforce or population and cardiac arrest is not likely to occur here.” – Statistics prove that there are on average 1,000 deaths per day in the U.S. to sudden cardiac arrest and the number of younger individuals who fall victim to such an event are startling.

“We don’t have personnel who could operate a defibrillator.”  – AEDs are designed with the lay rescuer in mind.  Each manufacturer of Automated External Defibrillators have even made enhancement to their ease-of-use features to make the use simple and straight-forward for anyone.

“We are worried that we’d make a mistake and harm someone.”  – All AEDs are FDA-approved and once the electrode pads are placed on the chest they analyze the heart rhythm only delivering a shock if one is absolutely required.

“We don’t want the liability of having AEDs.”  – Each State Good Samaritan Law includes the use of a defibrillator providing protection to the organization and the individual rescuer.  The much larger risk based upon recent litigation is neglecting to protect lives with AEDs.

“We can’t afford AEDs.”  – Once thousands of dollars each this was perhaps once a valid concern.  However, in 2014 brand new AEDs can be purchased for $1200 – $1600 each.  It can be argued that this is a very small price to protect the lives of your employees, customers, visitors, students, and more.

Perhaps one or more of the concerns outlined above caused your organization to not buy AEDs in the past.  It may be a good time to revisit the topic and this is a wonderful discussion to bring to your safety meetings and to voice to management. Your investment in this technology could lead to lives being saved, perhaps even yours.