Does your hockey rink have an automated external defibrillator (AED) at the ready? The highly aerobic nature of hockey presents heightened cardiac risks, and that’s just one of the reasons why every facility needs a portable defibrillator. The question is how to choose the best AED for your hockey rink. We’ve created this guide to outline the essential features and equip you with the knowledge to be an informed buyer.
Why Every Hockey Rink Needs an AED
According to the American Heart Association, 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest each year, and 350,000 cardiac arrests occur in places other than hospitals. Hockey heart attacks (which can lead to cardiac arrest) have been featured on the news. And while we generally associate this kind of emergency with older adults, cardiac arrest from sports can affect children, too.
Features to Look for in an AED for a Hockey Rink
If you’re purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED) for a hockey rink, there are several specific features to look out for. Due to the nature of ice and sporting facilities, the best AED for a hockey rink should include the following:
Cardiac arrests happen suddenly, and they require immediate action. Because it’s easy for a responder to drop an AED while crossing the ice, it’s imperative that you look for a device with military-grade toughness. It should have a MIL-STD 810F or 810G certification, meaning — among other things — that it meets stringent shock resistance standards.
If an AED is dropped on the ice, there’s a high likelihood that it will come into contact with water. Make sure that your device is rated for water resistance. The best AEDs will have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating certifying it against penetration from both solids and liquids.
The temperature of an ice arena typically replicates winter-like conditions with an ambient temperature of 62°F to 64°F, relative humidity of 40% to 44%, and a hockey ice surface temperature of 22°F to 24°F. You will need an AED that can withstand this level of chill during use.
Ease of Use
In an emergency, there are no guarantees that you’ll have a trained first responder on hand. Your AED needs to be intuitive and easy to use. The best AED for a hockey rink should feature a simple one- to two-button presentation with clear, audible CPR instructions.
Hockey rinks are used by people of all ages, and your equipment needs to cater to the total age range of users that you are likely to encounter. Make sure that your AED is equipped with pediatric settings or is compatible with pediatric pads that automatically modify the response for young patients.
So What’s the Best AED for a Hockey Rink?
The AED that we recommend for hockey rink applications is the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P. This easy-to-use external defibrillator meets the most stringent standards for shock and water resistance and can be stored and used at temperatures between 32°F and 122°F. An intuitive two-button design and audible instructions make it easy for even a non-trained layperson to use the device, and child-friendly pads can be purchased separately.
If you would like more detailed CPR feedback guidance, the enhanced HeartSine Samaritan PAD 450P offers real-time analysis and rate-specific commentary. Both of these AEDs come with a 10-year warranty for maximum assurance.
Your Hockey Rink AED Might Save a Life
Hockey rinks are a lot of fun but also come with health-related risks. Make sure that you’re equipped to handle emergencies with an AED that’s built for freezing temperatures and the rigors of being skated across the rink.
The right equipment and appropriate training really can prevent a tragedy, and there’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes with being prepared.