A sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone at any time, with 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring in the UK each year. If not treated immediately, 90-95% of SCA victims die, so having the right equipment to hand can be the difference between life and death.
Certain locations and activities put people at higher risk of suffering SCAs:
- Children are particularly susceptible to commotio cordis, in which an impact from a blunt object can cause them to enter cardiac arrest
- Athletes involved in extreme sports place their heart under strain which increases the chances of an SCA
- Warehouse and construction workers can be exposed to live electrical wiring that can send a person into cardiac arrest if touched
How Do You Choose the Right AED?
When a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, a rapid response is needed in order to give that person the best possible chance at survival. This means effective CPR and early defibrillation needs to be administered to decrease the likelihood of a fatal outcome. It’s essential that you know where your nearest defib can be found, and ensuring that you’ve got the right tools to hand can help to save someone’s life.
Not all defibs are the same, though, and depending on where you are, you’re going to need a different unit in terms of durability. Every good defib comes with something called an ingress protection (IP) rating, which tells you how well the unit can handle exposure to water and dust.
There are two numbers in the rating:
- The first is a measure of how well the unit reacts to dust (measured between */0 and 6)
- The second tells you if it can sustain exposure to water (measured between */0 and 8)
Whether you’re looking for a defib for a community centre or for rugged outdoor terrain, this rating will tell you how suitable the unit is for your needs.
Sporting Venues, Outdoor Venues, Warehouses, Construction Sites
If you’re on the hunt for a defib that makes your sporting venue or your outdoor venue a safer place, you’re going to want access to a robust and portable unit with an IP rating higher than 54, and with a level of functionality that can be used on both adults and minors.
Similarly, warehouses and construction sites are often dusty and sometimes exposed to the elements, which means that a more durable unit with a high IP rating is required, particularly in places where workers might come into contact with live wiring. Here are our top picks:
Despite the fact that defibrillators still aren’t a legal requirement in public places, children are at an elevated risk of suffering SCA, making schools essential locations for life-saving AEDs. As the process for treating a child is slightly different to that of an adult, defibs in schools should have paediatric switches or paediatric pads, which make the units child-friendly. Here are our suggestions:
Keep Your Workforce and Your Community Safe
If you work in any of these environments, you and your peers could be at higher risk of suffering SCA. A defibrillator is an investment in the lives of your colleagues and your community – ensure that you’ve got the right unit to keep you covered in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.