Types of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs)

The mid-80s saw the rise of a new generation of computerised defibrillators, known as Automated External Defibrillators (AED). The AEDs analyses a person’s cardiac rhythm, delivers the required amount of shock automatically and requires only minimal user intervention.


Difference Between Fully Automatic and Semi-Automatic AEDs

AEDs are usually available in two configurations – fully automatic (FAED) or semi-automatic (SAED). The difference between FAED and SAED is that the SAED is equipped with a button that an operator must push when a shock needs to be delivered, while the FAED automatically delivers the shock to the patient when an abnormal heartbeat is detected.

What FAEDs and SAEDs Have in Common

Both fully, as well as, semi-automatic AEDs work in the same way mostly and will provide a “life-saving” shock when a person is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Both these models require the operator to fix the electrode pads to the patient properly. When the shock is being administered to the patient, no one else should touch the patient.

Both FAEDs, as well as, SAEDs will not deliver a shock to the patient unless an abnormal heart rhythm is detected. So, you can be sure that a shock is not delivered accidentally in the case that a person is only unconscious and their heart is functioning normally. Both kinds of AEDs provide voice-based rescue instructions. They may also provide light indicators, text prompts and CPR instructions, depending on the model.

Advantages of a SAED

When the SAED is being used to deliver a shock to a patient, two precautions must be taken i.e. the operator must ensure that no one is touching the body of the patient and the flashing shock button must be pushed.

SAEDs provide the operator with control of when the shock is delivered to the patient. This is beneficial as this allows the operator to ensure that no one else is in contact with the body of the patient when the shock is being delivered. Although the AED will not deliver a shock if it does not detect an abnormal heart rhythm, it cannot determine if anyone else is touching the patient.

While the shock that is delivered is beneficial to a patient suffering from SCA, it may lead to the person touching the patient while the shock is being administered. Not only can the feeling be unpleasant, but it may also result in the leaking of the current that is required to restore the patient’s normal heartbeat.

Advantages of an FAED

In the case of a fully-automatic AED, the shock is delivered automatically when the electrodes are applied without the need for any human intervention. The AED machine allows the rescuer to stop administering the CPR, instructs them not to touch the patient and provides a countdown to the shock delivery. So, when using an FAED, the operator does not need to push the button, but should still ensure that when the shock is being delivered, no one is touching the patient.

Both FAEDs and SAEDs are effective when it comes to saving lives. Both the types of AEDs provide proper step-by-step instructions that guide the operator through the entire rescue process. Nevertheless, an FAED may be more expensive than a SAED and you need to decide the model that will be the most beneficial to you and suit your requirements the best.

Bull Products can provide your business with a range of defibs from Life Point Pro and Zoll, including training defibrillators. View our range of defibrillators here and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our friendly staff who will be happy to assist you.


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