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How to Choose the Best AED for Schools

How to Choose the Best AED for Schools

How to Choose the Best AED for Schools

Selecting the best AED for schools is vital for the safety of all students and faculty. Cardiac events are the nation’s leading cause of death today. School administrators and educators understand the paramount importance of ensuring the best outcome in life-threatening events. Schools provide fire extinguishers, carry out fire drills, have emergency equipment, and even a nurse. Now more than ever before, having an automated external defibrillator is a critical piece of the safety puzzle.

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

Picking The Best Defibrillator for Schools

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 (adult) and pediatric settings. For children up to 8 years old who weigh less than 55 pounds, the pediatric setting is important.

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), including how to perform high-quality CPR. In a medical emergency, 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.

Make sure to stick with the FDA-approved manufacturers. These are Philips, HeartSine, Physio-Control, Defibtech, Zoll, and Cardiac Science. In addition, 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 recommended AED models for schools.

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.Physio Control Lifepak CR2 AED
  • 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 defibrillator 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: $1,940.

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.Philips HeartStart FRx AED 861304
  • 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: $1,904 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.Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AED
  • 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: $1,795

Essential Accessories for School AEDs

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

Wall Cabinet: An AED wall cabinet protects the unit and ensures that the AED can always be identified 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 the pads accordingly. In addition, pads should always be replaced after use and after a full year in storage.

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. When the AED is running its routine 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 public schools to have an AED. Only New Jersey and Oregon require defibrillators for both public and private institutions. Regardless of whether they are legally mandated or not, every school should make these devices available to save lives.

Purchase AEDs for Schools

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Disclaimer for information purposes only:

Our website provides information for general knowledge and informational purposes only. We do not offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers should consult with qualified healthcare professionals for personalized medical advice.

While we endeavor to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided, we do not guarantee its completeness or suitability for any specific purpose. The use of this website is at the reader’s own risk.

By accessing and using this website, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the website owners, authors, contributors, and affiliates from any claims, damages, liabilities, losses, or expenses resulting from your use of the information presented herein.

Picture of Michelle Clark, RN ICU/CCU
Michelle Clark, RN ICU/CCU
As a seasoned Nurse (RN) in Critical Care, CCU (Cardiac Care Unit), and ICU (Intensive Care Unit) with nearly three decades of experience, specializing in Cardiopulmonary care, I've embarked on a new path as a trusted figure in the realm of sudden cardiac arrest and first aid. With a profound dedication to patient well-being honed throughout my nursing career, I now utilize my expertise to enlighten and empower others in life-saving methods. Leveraging my comprehensive understanding and proficiency in critical care, I endeavor to leave a lasting imprint in healthcare by promoting awareness and offering practical guidance.

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