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How To Choose An AED For Your Construction Firm

How To Choose An AED For Your Construction Firm

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Did you know that over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital setting in the US every year?  About 10,000 of these happen at work every year, with almost 1,000 of these occurring within the construction industry alone. And, 90% of these cardiac arrests are fatal due to delayed emergency services. 
Investing in an automated external defibrillator or AED can help save a life. This ensures that you can immediately respond in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest or even a ministroke emergency on your job site. 

Although any FDA-approved AED can be an asset, certain features and qualities are important when choosing the best AED for your construction site. These include:

  • Good IP Rating

In a rugged work environment, like a construction site, you’ll need a rugged AED. For starters, you need a device that should be protected against penetration from dust, moisture, and solid objects. The ingress protection (IP) rating is an internally accepted standard to accurately measure these kinds of protection. 
The IP rating consists of two digits:

  • First digit (0 – 6) is the amount of protection from solid objects and dust.
  • Second digit (0 – 9) is the level of protection against liquid.

So, the higher the numbers, the greater protection. 
An FDA-approved AED should have an IP rating between IP54 – IP56, with the latter being the highest rating you can find for a portable defibrillator. It means that the device offers protection against dust ingress, as well as powerful water jets. In a harsh environment, like a construction site, this is the standard rating you should look for. 

  • Long-Lasting Battery

Contractors and teams can spend weeks or months on construction sites. Thus, a long-lasting battery is essential.
Most AEDs will require battery replacement every two years. And those expiration dates may sneak up on you at the untimeliest moments. The less frequently you have to replace the battery, the less you have to worry. 
If you can, find and invest in an AED with a long battery life that’s good for four to five years. Also, you should keep a spare AED battery and extra electrodes on hand in case of an emergency.

  • Training Compatibility

If you’re going to get AED and CPR training from outside the company, then this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you want to train some of your construction workers in using an AED, then you might want to consider looking for an AED with training compatibility. 
Some live AEDs can be used for training purposes, while others will require you to invest in a standalone training unit.
Live AED that can be easily converted to a training device simply requires you to replace the live battery with a training battery and set up the training pads. However, if you can, it’s best to simply invest in a standalone AED trainer unit. This is to prevent wear and tear on your AED and ensure that you’ll always have a fully operating AED available in case of emergency. 

  • CPR Assist

CPR is still an essential lifesaving technique even with the widespread deployment of AEDs. In fact, CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival, if performed in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest. But, if you don’t know how to do proper CPR, most AEDs have built-in CPR features that can assist you in doing CPR. 
Most units can be used to assist with CPR, providing clear voice prompts and instructions on how to deliver proper compressions. Some even have clear video displays, showing you exactly what to do. 
Other units are smart enough that they can provide you with feedback on the depth of compressions and will tell you to push harder if you’re not achieving the proper compression depths. You can also find units with a built-in metronome that helps you maintain the recommended rate of compressions per minute. 

  • Good Warranty

AEDs may take a lot of abuse in construction sites— from the weather, physical objects, or simply being tossed around. In order to ensure maximum ROI, choose a unit with a long warranty period. 
Although the warranty won’t cover general wear and tear or negligence, it can serve as a lifeline in the event that your unit is unable to live up to the specified operating capabilities.
In general, the Department of Army Technical Bulletin lists eight years as a good life expectancy of a portable defibrillator. So, by choosing a model with an eight-year warranty or more, you can ensure that your AED never stops working or dies before its time. 
And there you have it!  A reliable AED is essential for construction sites. Regardless of the type of AED you purchase, the important thing is that you invest in this important device. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it. But, if you do, having one can definitely help save a life. 


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