An automated external defibrillator (AED) is an essential piece of equipment for a ski resort. In fact, AEDs are one of the main reasons that ski resorts have maintained such good results with cardiac arrest patients on the slope. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best device for your facility? We’re here to highlight the most essential features for ski resorts along with the best products currently available.
Why Do Ski Resorts Need an AED?
The sport of skiing combines three important risks for cardiac arrest: altitude, cold, and intense aerobic activity. People who are attracted to skiing also tend to be nearing middle age, with growth in the 45-plus demographic.
When a patient has an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest while skiing, they are typically far from the nearest medical center. Ensuring fast first-responder care is crucial for helping the patient survive.
Selecting the Best AED for a Ski Resort
AEDs for ski resorts need to include the following features:
- Simple operation. The success of AEDs is largely due to their ease of use. Choose an AED that provides simple, step-by-step verbal and visual instructions.
- Suited to high altitudes. Ski slopes are typically located at higher altitudes. Look for an AED that is certified to work at the altitude of your ski resort.
- Resistance to water. Ski slopes are unavoidably wet, and there’s a chance the AED might be dropped or accidentally placed on the snow. Choose an AED with excellent water resistance ratings. Ideally, you want a device with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating that’s certified to protect against direct water jets. Look for at least an IP-55 or IP-56 rating (the first digit represents the resistance to solids; the second digit represents the resistance to liquids).
- Resistant to cold. AEDs for ski resorts need to withstand cold temperatures. Check the minimum ambient and direct temperatures at which the AED will function.
- Resistant to drops. In the rush to take the AED to the patient, the device might get dropped on the ground. Look for an AED with proven resistance to shocks and drops. It should ideally meet MIL-SPEC or MIL-STD standards, meaning that it meets Department of Defense standards for toughness.
The Best AED for a Ski resort: The HeartSine Samaritan Pad 350P
For ski resorts, we recommend the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P. This durable AED is light to carry and designed for use in some of the most extreme environmental conditions. The HeartSine 350P:
- Weighs only 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) including Pad-Pak Battery
- Can be used between 32°F and 122°F (0°C to 50°C )
- Passes water-resistance standard IEC 60529/EN 60529 IP56
- Can be used at altitudes of 0 to 15,000 feet (0 – 4,575 meters)
- Passes MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5, Procedure I (40 G’s) for shocks
- Withstands drops up to 3.3 feet (1 meter)
- Offers simple, two-button operation with verbal and visual instructions
The company also offers the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 450P, which functions just like the 350P but with the addition of real-time CPR rate feedback.
Save Lives with the Right AED
Whether you choose the HeartSine 350P or any other FDA-approved model, the important thing is that you have an AED ready to go at a moment’s notice.
More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. each year, and when it happens, every minute is critical. It’s up to you to be ready for an emergency with an automated external defibrillator that can weather the extremes.