How much should you pay for a defibrillator?

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AEDWith so many types of defibrillators on the market, I often get asked 'which one should I choose?'. In this article, Clive Haddrell, Managing Director at First Response explores the virtues of shopping around for an AED.

 

There are all kinds of makes, models and sizes to suit most pockets and requirements, but there are some key things you should consider before purchase:

 

Seven things you should look for in a defibrillator:

 

  • Size and weight – does it need to be portable?
  • Manufacturer's guarantee – does it have a warranty and how long?
  • Does it need maintenance, if so how often and how much?
  • Battery shelf life – how long between charges?
  • Easy to use – do you need training to use it?
  • Replacement pads and batteries – are replacements availability?
  • Can it be upgraded should there be any changes in protocols the future?

 

Why pay more for your defibrillator?


A doctor recently asked me about a product they were about to purchase that suited their needs (small private practice). It £1,500 plus VAT, which I felt was unnecessary. I therefore pointed them at a model that we have tested for half the price and can recommend through various suppliers.

 

An AED (Automated External Defibrillator) should be a mandatory piece of equipment - part of your first aid kit and freely and quickly available to use without being locked in a cupboard.

 

Why do I make such a statement? Well, based on 33 years experience at dealing with cardiac arrests in public places as well as the home, the one thing the that we are always fighting is time! The evidence is overwhelming that if a person collapses in cardiac arrest if defibrillator is used within the two minutes, they stand a 90% chance of survival.

So why is there such a delay in making a defibrillator a mandatory piece of first aid equipment? I'm sure that many organisations have been put off purchasing defibrillators based on the price, or limited knowledge about which model to purchase.

 

Training for confident usage


Similarly it might be the notion that staff need training on how to use them. Quality training facilitated by qualified, experience hands-on tutors, will make sure you and your staff feel confident and competent in their use should they be confronted with this life threatening situation. (Remember the footballer Fabrice Muamba).

 

So, do you need an all singing all dancing model?

 

NO

 

There are several models on the market which match all the requirements set out above for £895 plus VAT, which is well under the price quoted for the doctors practice.

 

 

You might also be interested in:

A-Z ARTICLE: Defibrillation

BLOG: 'Should I call an ambulance?'

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 5 November 2018
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Clive Haddrell Cert Ed MSET

NHS Paramedic Tutor, NHS Ambulance Emergency Driving Tutor, FAETC 1&2, Cert/Ed, D32, D33. Manual Handling Tutor (RoSPA) and Member of the Society for Education and Training. I have over thirty years experience with the former Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and recently with Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust. My experience includes the role of paramedic tutor, rapid response motorcycle paramedic. For the last 25years paramedic advisor to the well-known BBC television program "Casualty".

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