How to Choose a Defibrillator – 22 Life Saving Features Compared

Written by | 31 May 2017

When it comes to saving a life during a cardiac arrest every minute counts. If a Defibrillator is available it is vital that it can be used reliably and quickly by the user. The sooner the casualty receives defibrillation the greater their chance of survival is in the life threatening situation of cardiac arrest.

It’s important to note that not all Defibrillators are the same and it’s up to every business to understand and determine which option is best suited to your work environment and staff. Components can vary per Defibrillator so we have created a guide to clearly outline which Defibrillator is best suited to who and why.

What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

A Defibrillator is a revolutionary life-saving device used to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), a condition that occurs when the heart unexpectedly ceases due to an underlying health problem. It is a powerful, lifesaving device that should be accessible to everyone. You can read more about what a Defibrillator is here.

The Facts About AEDs

  • More than 30,000 Australians suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year and without          defibrillation and CPR less than 26% survives. Every minute that passes between                    Sudden Cardiac Arrest and defibrillation is critical and reduces the chance of casualty            survival by 10%
  • If an individual receives defibrillation within the first few minutes of having a sudden                cardiac arrest their chance of survival is increased to beyond 70%
  • Defibrillation is the only effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation and sudden                     cardiac arrest
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not gender or age specific
  • An AED will not administer a shock to a heart if it is functioning normally on its own

Why Every Workplace Should Have An AED

Sudden cardiac arrest can occur without any warning to people of all ages, backgrounds and health status. Without immediate defibrillation and CPR, cardiac arrest will result in death.

With sudden cardiac arrest being one of the leading causes of death in Australia, having a Defibrillator in your workplace and available to take to any work-related events can be the critical difference between a life lost and a life saved.

The average person spends 35% of their lifetime at work so it is essential that every workplace is equipped with the necessary resources to respond in an emergency. Cardiac arrests are unpredictable and do not discriminate – they can happen anywhere, at any time. By fitting your workplace with an AED you are taking steps to ensure your business is First Aid ready in an emergency.

In 2015, 33,000 Australians lives were lost due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in comparison to 100 fatalities caused by a fire. It is a requirement that every workplace has a fire extinguisher on site, yet it is alarming to know the potential amount of workplaces that are not equipped to respond in a cardiac emergency.

Cardiac Arrest Statistics

AEDs can be used by inexperienced, minimally trained responders and can save a life prior to the ambulance arriving. Ambulance arrival time is an average of 8-10 minutes in metropolitan areas of Melbourne whilst it can be up to 30 minutes in rural areas. Without early defibrillation from an AED the survival rate falls between 2-5% so it is critical that immediate action is taken in the event of a cardiac arrest.

How To Choose And Buy The Right Defibrillator

St John Ambulance carefully selected two market-leading Philips HeartStart AEDs that are specifically designed for untrained individuals to use with ease in an emergency.

Both the HeartStart FRx and HeartStart HS1 help to provide the user with the confidence to act quickly and accordingly in an emergency. We hand-picked the FRx and HS1 as they act as a personal coach to guide the user through a cardiac emergency with a simple, step-by-step process.

However, there are differences between the FRx and HS1 models so to guarantee your business makes an educated decision we have compared the pair for you.

6 Reasons Why The Phillips HS1 Or Frx Defibrillator Is The Right Choice For Your Workplace

1. Simple. The HS1 automatically turns on once the user pulls the “pull” handle and the FRx is turned on by simply pressing the green power button. This instantly prompts a calm, clear voice to deliver easy to follow instructions which allows the First Aider to act whilst listening and streamlines the defibrillation process without distraction.

2. Intelligent. Sophisticated sensors assess and correctly advise that a shock should be delivered at the appropriate time – personalised to every man, woman or child.

3. Reactive. Exclusive SMART pads allow our devices to distinguish when the user has completed a step and is ready for the next instruction, ensuring the user is not overwhelmed and correctly implements each step in a timely manner. Only our Defibrillators give you this personalised guidance.

4. Fast. With QuickShock technology our AED’s typically delivery shock treatment within 8 seconds. This positions Phillips AEDs among the fastest to deliver shock treatment once CPR is completed.

5. Automated. Our AED automatically analyses the heart rhythm to determine whether a shock is required. If the AED does not advise a shock, no shock can be delivered, even if the shock button is pressed.

6. CPR. Our Defibrillators provide CPR Coaching to ensure CPR is performed. CPR coaching is optional and can be manually selected simply by the press of a button if desired. CPR must be performed between defibrillation to ensure oxygen and blood is being circulated to the vital organs. When purchasing a Defibrillator, an in-person CPR course is strongly recommended and can be booked here.

What Is The Difference Between The Phillips FRx And HS1 Defibrillators?

The FRx Defibrillator is a much sturdier option which is suitable for heavy duty environments. It is dust proof, splash proof, water proof and shock proof.

The Phillips FRx Defibrillator has an infant/child key so is most suitable in childcare centres, schools, sports facilities and farms. The key is the only AED paediatric solution that does not mean the user needs to manually change the adult pads to paediatric pads. With the FRx, you simply insert the key for a paediatric casualty and use the pads that are already connected as they can be used for both adult and child casualties.

A Comparison Of The Phillips FRx And HS1 Defibrillators

Phillips HeartStart FRx AED

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Phillips HeartStart HS1 AED

hs1-heartstart-defib

Ease of use How to activate Press the green power button Automatically turns on upon pulling the ‘pull’ lever
Instructions Audio with visuals on pads for clarity Audio with visuals on pads for clarity
Automatic shock delivery Press of a button once AED advises Press of a button once AED advises
Easy for a user to open the electrode pad package YES YES
Easy for a user to remove the backings from the electrode pads YES YES
Easy for a user to control if and when a shock is delivered YES YES
Significant instructions/signage explaining how to set a casualty up for shock (clothing removal, hair removal, pad placement) Yes – audio instructions in step-by-step form Yes – audio instructions in step-by-step form
Infant Child Pads YES. Insert key to reset AED to paediatric mode Must manually swap to child pads
Colour Dark with the relevant tools in bright colours to gain  users immediate attention Dark with the relevant tools in bright colours to grasp users immediate attention
Safety during rescue & risk to organisation Avoids shocking a responder YES YES
Avoid shocking a bystander YES YES
Avoid shocking casualty when considered inappropriate YES YES
Therapy effectiveness Casualty receives CPR YES YES
Casualty with shockable rhythm actually receives the shock YES YES
Minimal time-to-shock after CPR for potentially better survival YES (8-10 seconds) YES (8-10 seconds)
Durability Waterproof YES NO
Rugged YES Not recommended for rough environments
Specs Warranty 8 years 8 years
Battery Life 4 years 4 years
Pads Single use – 2 years Single use – 2 years
Weight 1.5kg 1.5kg
Best Used For   Industrial sites, around water/dust, extreme environments, childcare centres, sports facilities, gyms General purpose, office environment, warehouses, retail, etc

 

How To Choose And Buy The Right Defibrillator For Your Workplace

All workplaces have a duty of care to their employees, customers and suppliers. How your staff responds in a First Aid emergency such as a sudden cardiac arrest is unpredictable, which is why an easy to use, step-by-step, audio operated AED such as the HS1 or FRx is the most suitable option.

The HeartStart FRx and HS1 are designed from an everyday person’s viewpoint. They provide valuable and timely guidance, include simple and prominent instructions and advise an appropriate level of workload for even those not trained in First Aid.

As the number 1 selling Defibrillator around the world, the Heart Start HS1 is a clear choice if you want something easily recognisable and simple to use for anyone to use.

You’ve made the right choice by deciding to buy a Defibrillator for your business, now it’s up to you to ensure you select the product that is going to be most suitable and useful when a cardiac emergency arises in your workplace. The decision you make could save a life in the future, possibly even your own, so take our guide into careful consideration when making that life-saving purchase.