How to Choose the Best AED for Schools

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Categories: Knowledge Base

School administrators understand the paramount importance of ensuring the safety of all students. You have emergency supplies, fire extinguishers, fire drills, and perhaps even a nurse on staff. Selecting the right automated external defibrillator (AED) for your school is a critical piece of the safety puzzle.

Every year, approximately 9,500 Americans under the age of 18 experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Without immediate assistance, 9 out of 10 cardiac arrest sufferers will die within minutes. Immediate defibrillation, when coupled with CPR, increases a victim’s chance of survival by as much as 90%. Make sure that your school is ready for the unexpected.

How to Choose AEDs for Your School

When comparing automated external defibrillators for your school, here are the important features to consider:

Pediatric Capabilities: For preschools and elementary schools, it’s important to carry defibrillators with pediatric functions. Some defibrillators have separate pediatric pads while others have a toggle switch with standard and pediatric settings. For children up to 8 years old who weigh less than 55 pounds, the pediatric settings are important. Smaller children are not as equipped to handle the amount of electric shock administered by standard defibrillation.

Dual-Language Capabilities: Many AEDs offer audible instructions so that anyone can administer lifesaving defibrillation in the event of an emergency. For schools located in heavily bilingual districts, administrators should invest in AEDs with dual-language capabilities.

Ease of Use: Hopefully, at least a few members of your faculty are trained in Basic Life Support (BLS). In an emergency situation, though, every second counts. An untrained teacher or staff member may be required to use the device at a moment’s notice. That’s why it’s so important to have AEDs that can be used with minimal training.

In addition, make sure to stick with the FDA-approved manufacturers. These are Philips, HeartSine, Physio-Control, Defibtech, Zoll, and Cardiac Science. Make sure that each automated external defibrillator:

  • Includes an extended warranty
  • Performs daily, weekly, and monthly self-tests to ensure readiness
  • Contains new batteries and electrodes (note the expiration dates)

If purchasing pre-owned AEDs for your school, make sure to only invest in recertified AEDs that undergo extensive testing and upgrades.

Recommended AEDs for Schools

The following automated external defibrillators offer most or all of the features highlighted above, and they’re affordably priced. Here are our top model recommendations.

Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2

 

Why it’s ideal for schools:

  • The Child Mode button allows instant reduction of electrical energy without the need for separate electrodes.
  • The device provides ClearVoice audible instructions so that untrained users can safely and effectively use the electrodes.
  • Instructions can be toggled between English and Spanish with a single click.

Other distinguishing features: 

  • The Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 is the only automated external defibrillators on the market that allows CPR compressions during heart rhythm analysis.
  • It connects to Wi-Fi for ongoing self-monitoring, thereby ensuring that the device is always ready and functional when you need it.

Recommended accessories: 

  • LIFEPAK CR2 Case: You may need to transport the AED long distances in an emergency. A sturdy case provides protection and portability if you ever find yourself rushing from the administration building to the football field to administer treatment.

This AED is best for: 

  • Preschools and elementary schools. The child-friendly features are among the best on the market.

Cost: $1,295.

Philips HeartStart FRx

 

Why it’s ideal for schools: 

  • The Philips HeartStart FRx features a unique Infant/Child Key that instantly toggles from adult to pediatric mode.
  • It’s incredibly easy to use. Voice commands tell you what to do, and the sensors automatically determine if an electric shock is required.
  • It’s lightweight but still designed to hold up against abuse, dust, and moisture. This makes it suitable for demanding athletic environments.

Other distinguishing features: 

 

  • This is one of the more compact defibrillators on the market, so it requires very little space and is easy to transport.

Recommended accessories: 

  • Philips HeartStart FRx Carry Case: This rugged case offers ample space for the AED, the Infant/Child Key, and extra pads and batteries.

This AED is best for: 

  • Middle and high schools with active athletics. The rugged, compact design can take a beating, so it’s great for the field.

Cost: $1,711 for a complete value package.

Cardiac Science Powerheart G5

 

Why it’s ideal for schools: 

  • The Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 is compatible with both adult-sized and pediatric pads. Make sure to use the correct pads when administering treatment.
  • Users can switch between English and Spanish at the touch of a button.
  • Rescue Coach™ technology provides both text and voice prompts to guide the user through the process.

Other distinguishing features:

  • A CPR metronome guides the CPR process; just listen to the ticks to hear the compression rate.
  • Audible feedback is customized according to the user’s skill level.

Recommended accessories: 

  • Cardiac Science Backpack for Powerheart G5: This backpack is secure and designed for quick, rapid transport. It features separate compartments for the defibrillator and accessories, and it’s clearly labeled to prevent misplacement.

This AED is best for: 

  • High schools and universities. This is one of the more customizable AEDs in terms of language, settings, and skill level, so it’s ideal for a large, diverse faculty. Because separate pads are required for young children, it’s not quite as convenient for elementary and pre-schools.

Cost: $1,695

Essential Accessories for All AEDs

Regardless of what type of AED you choose, certain types of accessories are universal and should always be on hand:

A Cabinet: An AED wall cabinet protects the unit and ensures that the AED can always be found in one central location. When the door opens, an alarm sounds to prevent theft and alert others to a potential emergency.

Extra Pads: AED pads will dry out over time, requiring replacement. It’s always important to note the expiration date and replace accordingly. In addition, pads should always be replaced after use and after a full year in storage.

An Extra Battery: A typical AED battery should last at least four years, but it’s important to always have a spare on hand in case of an emergency. If the AED is properly running its daily, weekly, and monthly self-tests, it should alert you when the battery requires replacement.

Are AEDs Legally Required for Schools?

The laws regarding AEDs vary by state. While 36 states require high school students to take CPR training, only 16 states currently require automated external defibrillators for some or all schools:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas

All of the above states require AEDs for public schools. Only New Jersey and Oregon require AEDs for both public and private institutions. Regardless of whether AEDs are legally mandated, every school should make these life-saving devices available.

Purchase AEDs for Schools

AED Leader isn’t just a name; we are the industry leader for high-quality automated external defibrillators. We offer free delivery on orders over $99, a generous 30-day return policy, and a one-year low-price guarantee. Browse our full selection of AEDs for schools, and order yours today.