A Portable AED (Automated External Defibrillator), like the Phillips HeartStart Home Defibrillator, can save a life in many cases. As a former Volunteer Firefighter and member of the High Angle Rescue Team; and as a certified Lifesaver, I can attest to this fact.
Having access to a portable AED can mean the difference between life and death. During my experience in these fields, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in training to use an AED.
Portable AED – The Unit
The unit that we used was a Phillips HeartStart Home Defibrillator. Myself, and everyone else that participated in the training, found the unit to be easy to operate and we could see the obvious benefits of having one available. In fact I would recommend that everyone that can afford to purchase a portable AED, do so, immediately.
These units have become much more affordable in recent years. They are well worth the investment. It is extremely important to restore heart rhythm within five minutes or less, to increase the chance of survival. Usually, it takes longer than five minutes for the ambulance to arrive. What is the going rate for a person’s life anyway?
Heart attacks, often, strike without warning. A lot of people don’t know they have a heart problem before it hits. This is why it is important to have a Portable AED on hand, just in case. I think every family could benefit from owning one. It would be awesome, if every business, school, church, sports arena, senior citizens’ center, golf course, and any other place where people gather had one.
Anyone Can Use It
The portable defibrillator is designed in such a way that almost anyone can use it, without any formal training. The unit comes with an instructional video and has audio prompts during use. Of course, it is a good idea to read all of the literature and instructions that come with the unit. And, I recommend practicing the “routine” several times, before an emergency occurs. Some practice using the Portable AED will give you more confidence in the event of an actual emergency situation.
Don’t worry, the unit will not deliver a shock until it analyzes the patient and determines a shock is needed. Phillips has produced a safe, reliable, simple to operate, possibly life saving, device with the HeartStart AED. Their unit is the first Portable AED made available for purchase without a prescription.
However, when using the unit on a real victim, be sure everyone, including you (the rescuer), is “clear” (do not touch the patient) while delivering the shock. And, even though this unit will talk you through the steps of CPR, I do recommend taking a CPR class, as soon as you can. A little extra instruction and practice is always a plus. Administering CPR is necessary in many cases, even when using an AED.
The Phillips HeartStart Home Defibrillator like all portable AED’s are battery powered. The battery lasts four years. The Smart Pads (adult) have a lifespan of two years (Smart Pads for children require a prescription). Fortunately, the unit has a built in self- check system.
The unit “checks” its status daily. This is a terrific feature for those of us that might tend to forget these kinds of time limits. When you purchase your Portable AED, it would be wise to go ahead and ask for the manufacturing date of the unit and the pads. Like when you buy new tires, you don’t want to buy a unit that has been sitting around for a couple of years.
The unit, itself, has a five year warranty. The HeartStart comes with a red carrying case, training video, and discount coupons for CPR training at the American Red Cross, Medic First Aid, or the American Heart Association.
Phillips includes a Support Program Enrollment Card, also. Their support program entitles you to notifications regarding the unit, customer service, periodic reminders about the accessories, and post-use counseling. This portable AED, from Phillips Medical Systems, is well worth the investment, all the way around.
Phillips offers a larger, roomier, carrying case for the HeartStart, also. The original case, that the defibrillator comes with, is slim fitting and does not allow much room for anything else. The Phillips HeartStart Home Automated External Defibrillator Standard Carry Case is a wonderful option for transporting your AED, if you will be taking it on the road with you every day.
It is great if you travel a lot for work or take a lot of vacations. The case is listed as a “standard” carry case; however, it is really a deluxe case. I prefer to have a little extra room in the case for additional things.
This case has enough room to carry extra pads, a spare battery, scissors (included), gloves, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, smelling salts, or other helpful emergency aid items. Philllips Medical Systems, in their continuous efforts to make everything easier and more convenient, includes a pair of scissors with this case for cutting a victim’s clothing, if necessary.
The pads for the AED must be applied to the cardiac arrest victim’s bare chest to ensure efficient analysis of his or her condition, and to enable the “shock” to be delivered effectively. I like to be prepared for a variety of potential circumstances, if possible, in an emergency. The Phillips HeartStart Automated External Defibrillator provides enough added space for my extra necessities.
Portable AED – Being Prepared
Speaking of being prepared, you might want to consider buying an extra Phillips AED battery, as a backup if you can afford it. This would be just in case something happened to the original battery. It is easy to install a new battery in the HeartStart AED. The battery is a lithium battery and is supposed to last four years.
The batteries have an expiration date printed on them. So, when your battery approaches the expiration date, you will need to purchase a new one. Another thing to consider having on hand, just in case, is extra defibrillator pads. You can’t use the portable AED unit without functional electrode pads. The Phillips defibrillator uses two pads to analyze the patients’ condition and deliver the “heart starting shock.”
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