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Advice

Why buy a defibrillator?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is the only life-saving device which can be used to shock a person out of cardiac arrest to save their life. You don’t have to be a doctor, nurse, or a medical professional to successfully use an AED.

What would happen if someone suffered SCA in your home or place of business? You could save a life by having an AED on hand in a life-threatening emergency.

Investing in a defibrillator

When investing in a Automated External Defibrillator, also known as an AED, there are a variety of factors to consider such as where the defibrillator will be used, who will be using it and how and where it will be stored.

Defibrillators are a significant investment and finding the right device for you is imperative.

There are multiple devices to choose from and it can be overwhelming finding the right one. Our FAQ section below explains the technical terminology surrounding defibrillators and how you can find the right device for your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Defibrillation?

Defibrillation is giving an electric shock to the heart. The shock resets the heart’s electrical system and allows a normal heart rhythm to return.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that delivers that shock. It analyses the heart rhythm and if necessary, provides instructions on how to deliver it.

When should I use an AED?

If a person collapses or loses consciousness, and either doesn’t have a pulse or isn’t breathing properly, you need to intervene. Even if he or she is gasping for breath or having seizures, if the person is unconscious, use the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Don’t worry about diagnosing the victim correctly. The Philips AED will analyse the heart rhythm and tell you to deliver a shock, if and only if the victim needs it. All you need to do is open the AED and follow the clear, calm voice instructions. You’ll be told how put the pads on the victim so the machine can detect the heart rhythm.

How do I know how to use an AED?

Our range of Philips AEDs are designed to be very simple to use. Once you open the AED, a clear, calm voice walks you through the entire rescue process as you do it—at your own pace. The device can tell what step you’re on and will adjust its instructions accordingly.

The most important thing you need to do is act. If there is an AED nearby, find it and open it. The heart needs to be restored to a normal rhythm within 3 – 5 minutes for the best chance of survival.

Can I hurt someone?

No, not if you follow the instructions from the AED. AEDs are designed to help people whose hearts have stopped working effectively. If the AED instructs you to deliver a shock, the person you are helping is already clinically dead. Your actions can only help. You may be able to restore a healthy heart rhythm.

What if I do it wrong?

The AED is designed to tell you exactly what you need to do. It keeps pace with what you are doing and adapts its instructions so that it doesn’t overwhelm, run ahead, or slow you down. If necessary, it will repeat the prompts, rephrasing them or adding additional instruction to help you understand.
Can I shock myself using an AED?

Not if you follow the instructions. The device will tell you the basic precautions you must take to avoid getting shocked. 

Do I need to get training to use an AED?

Philips AEDs are designed so that anyone can use them immediately. However, training is still a good idea. The more familiar you are with the signs of a SCA and the use of the AED, the more likely you are to be calm and helpful in an actual emergency.
Which is better—performing CPR or using an AED?

CPR is one way to help a victim of SCA. It uses chest compressions and may include rescue breathing.

Both CPR and Automated External Defibrillators have a role in saving lives. Performing either is better than doing nothing but using both CPR and an AED gives the victim an even greater chance of survival.

Are there liability risks?

Liability is a valid concern for program administrators and potential rescuers.

Automated external defibrillators are designed to be safe and very easy to use. Additionally, if a person in cardiac arrest is not treated quickly with a defibrillator, it is unlikely that they will survive.

In Ireland, there is no statutory obligation imposed on any person to use
the defibrillator, but if they do so, the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 provides that a Good Samaritan who intervenes to provide assistance, including resuscitation, will not be liable in negligence for any act done in an emergency unless it was done in bad faith or with gross negligence. The exemption from liability in the 2011 Act does not apply where the person owes a duty of care to assist the victim, for example, in the context of a doctor-patient relationship. Source: HIQA Health technology assessment (HTA) of public access defibrillation 

How do I set up my defibrillator?

Open the box and perform a self-test. The AED will guide you through the process. 

Do I need to perform maintenance my defibrillator?

Philips AEDs are self-monitoring. They perform regular self-tests to make sure that everything is working.

However, there are 2 parts that need regular replacement—the pads and the battery. The device has reminder lights to help you remember. In addition, each AED comes with a sticker reminder system.

Are there any rules about who can own an AED?

Anyone can own an AED. For help selecting the correct one for your home, business or organisation please contact us on 1890 989 535 or submit the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Where to locate your AED

There are a few things to consider when determining how many AED units are right for you and where you should place them. Use this as a guide to point you in the right direction.

The primary objective for any successful on-site Defibrillation program is to achieve a 3-minute response time from the collapse of a victim to the arrival of the AED unit. When making any decisions about placement use this 3-minute response time as a guide to determine where and how many units to place.

Below are some questions you should address before determining where is the best place for your AED(s). 

  1. Are there any high-risk areas within your facility (workout facility, running track, electrical rooms)
  2. Do you have an on-site responder or trained individual(s)?
  3. Where is the highest concentration of people? 
  4. How secure is your facility?
  5.  Are there areas that are locked after normal hours?
  6. Is your AED going to be in a cabinet?
  7. Where is the nearest phone?
  8. What is the most central point within your facility?
  9. Is there an area that is always manned such as a reception or security Desk?

Once you have the information complied, then you can make a decision. Below are a few helpful guides to determine the best place:

  • AED’s should be visible to everyone. No one is going to use it or even ask for it if they don’t know it exists.
  • AED cabinets help deter theft and allow AED’s to be visible.
  • AED’s should never be locked up in a drawer somewhere. If they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind and regular inspections are critical to ensure AED readiness – they may be missed if they’re not visible.
  • AED’s should be near a phone for calling 999.
  • AED’s should be centrally located within the highest risk and most concentrated population area, and near trained rescuers.
  • AED’s should be placed near high-risk areas.
  • AED’s should be placed within 3 minutes of anywhere within the facility. (That means 1.5 minutes to the device and 1.5 minutes back at a brisk walking pace).
  • AED’s should be accessibile by everyone – don’t put the AED 6 feet high on a wall.