Should You Invest In A Defibrillator?

10 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Portable defibrillators, also known as AEDs -- automatic external defibrillators -- can restart your heart if your body's electrical system suddenly fails. These small machines attach to your chest through a series of sticky electrodes. The machine takes a moment to analyze your heart rate, and if it discovers that you have none, it delivers a shock to restart the rhythm. Defibrillators like these have saved countless lives in schools, health care clinics, and other workplaces. If you're considering purchasing one for your public establishment, keep the following tips in mind:

Someone Must Be Properly Trained to Use the Defibrillator 

Even with Good Samaritan laws in place, an AED still needs a trained person to apply the electrodes. Though a bystander may not need to fear a lawsuit for trying to help, if the machine isn't properly attached to the dying person, it won't work the way it was intended. If it were as easy as pulling the machine off the wall and placing it on the person's chest, little training would be necessary, but with existing AEDs, this isn't yet possible. If you invest in an AED, make sure you offer training on how to use it. 

Those Within Distance of the Emergency Must Remember to Use the Defibrillator

For this reason, it's good to practice regular drills using the machine. Having an AED on-hand is no help if nobody thinks to grab it and use it. In an emergency, it's easy to become panicky and disoriented. But if you drill your employees or your students on what to expect, and if you have a firm checklist in place, they'll be much more likely to remember that the life-saving defibrillator is available. 

The Project Requires a Small Investment 

In many cases, it's possible to purchase a small AED for less than $2,000. You must then factor in the cost of training those you deem necessary. It's possible though, that you might lower your insurance premiums by having one on hand. And if your machine is the one that ends up saving a life -- how do you put a price tag on that?

If you're thinking of investing in an AED for your business, regardless of what you do there, it's important to understand exactly what you'll undertake. Familiarize yourself with your state's Good Samaritan laws before you make a decision, and talk with your insurance agent as well. 

For more information, contact Halifax Heart Center or a similar organization.