How do you decide which AED to buy? After all, they all perform the same basic function, according to dental anesthesiologist Dr. Stanley Malamed, who lectures nationally on dental medical emergency readiness. (View the video above for Dr. Malamed’s tips.)
Being in dentistry, your dental board expects you to provide care in the event of a medical emergency. An AED is a top tool in that arsenal; studies show it’s critical during cardiac events as a way to save a life before 911 can arrive.
Total Cost of Ownership
The upfront cost of the AED is important, but there are factors that turn a cheap AED expensive. Before purchasing an AED, you should know the cost of the AED pads and battery. You should also know how often you have to buy both. You should also know how many years the AED itself lasts, and the warranty length.
All AEDs will analyze someone’s cardiac rhythm and either tell you to shock or not. The variances in efficacy come to what else the AED does. Does it walk you through CPR? Does it go through its analysis quickly? If you know how to perform ACLS, you want an AED that can give you live monitoring. Does your AED give you live feedback about the quality of your CPR? Most of all, your AED should have a track record of saving more lives.
Ease of Use
You want an AED capable of high-level care. But what if you aren’t able to provide treatment? What if YOU are the one needing the shock? The right AED for your practice should be usable by anybody in your office. Instructions should be clear enough that anyone can use it without training.
Amount of Support
Before buying an AED, get details on its service plan. How well do the manufacturer and the reseller take care of the AED once it is in your office? Do you get charged for service calls? What is covered under the warranty?
Ability to Practice & Train
You shouldn’t need much training to use the AED. Make sure that your AED has a practice mode. Practicing where an emergency might happen makes the practice most meaningful.
Place your AED should in a highly visible location, clearly marked. This often means placing it in a wall mount with clear labeling. Install a sign pointing to the AED.
Many states will require that you register your AED. Make sure that you know the AED laws for your state. Registration is usually quick and easy.
Protect your patients and your practice by considering all these factors. Most of all, though, just make sure you have an AED in your practice.