Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why Choose a Philips?
Philips is a European based company out of Holland who is involved in all different types of technology. They sell anything from TV’s to lightbulbs and into medical. The medical side of Philips is about 15-20% of their total business. Philips Healthcare is an $8 bilion organization. This allows for a massive amount of R&D and a backing of confidence that they will always be around to help answer questions and update their products.
Because of the massive size of the company, Philips has been able to make some major advances in the AED field before other companies as well as being top of the line products! They were actually the first company to develop pediatric technology such as the pedi-key and pedi-pads for use with smaller children. Before this anyone would use the full shock that was meant for a full size adult. Administering this high of Jewels can lead to an over shock, damaging the heart tissue, making it unsafe for children. Philips was the first company to develop AED’s that could be used in the aviation field. This has lead to mostly Philips products flying the skies today. With the backing they have, it as allowed them to have over 1 million defibrillators in use today! (Most of anyone)
Q: Why get an AED?
38% of companies who have an AED and an emergency plan will use the device for life saving events. Philips devices have provided more than 45 billion hours of operational service to customers. Heart attacks and cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart stops and “quivers” (not functioning) and is in a state of fibrillation. This means that the heart has stopped pumping blood and could be in a state of asystole where there is no muscle movement. This would require some chest compressions through CPR to create some blood flow and to get the heart pumping to create a flow of oxygen through the body. Without this pumping the oxygen around, the more damage can be done. That’s why it is important to have a plan and training in place to save these people.
From the minute someone drops from heart failure, there is a 3 minute drop to shock time period recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). This is at a rate of walking 350ft. at a fast walk. Each minute after that decreases the brain function by 10% post cardiac arrest. So a quick plan of action, with well trained users, and a properly functioning device are critical in those moments of rush.
Depending on the type of business and the state you are located in, there may be a “standard of care” expected. For example, fitness centers, schools, etc. that have a lot people constantly in them are expected to have an AED present. It is becoming accepted as the norm in places where you expect that you are safe. This can lead to lawsuits between what’s expected and what is required.
Q: Why choose a Philips AED?
Documented Ease of Use: Philips brand has the most peer reviewed products on the market. Most companies review from within, Philips has put their AED’s to the test with their competitors, scientists, etc. in order to obtain a fair and true rating. With this being said, it still has received some of the top ratings and awards. As reviewed by the peers, the Onsite has been deemed superior for public use.
The Onsite and the FRx both are easy to use and maintain. Both have the same verbal and visual commands to easily walk a first time user through the situation if necessary. The Onsite has optional and customizable CPR prompts supported by the AHA guidelines. This makes the units very user friendly. All units are semi-automatic which uses the prompts to walk the aider through the situation and to make sure that everyone is clear before a shock is administered. This makes sure that no one is touching the patient which could lead to the shock being passed on.
Ease of Maintenance: There are four easy steps to maintain your Philips AED.
Step 1 – Locate the device and make sure its still there and intact.
Step 2 – Verify that the green light is still flashing. This ensures that the battery is working and the units can still self check to confirm the entire unit is working.
Step 3 – Check the dates on your pads and batteries. Expired products can lead to a failed shock.
Step 4 – Check for any visible damage to the unit to ensure it’s still intact and fully functional.
All Philips units run self check of system components, batters, pads presence and readiness on a daily, weekly, and monthly interval. All these checks help to maintain the device and make sure it’s up to standard in the situation of use and are recorded. During the monthly self check the unit will check the capacitor to full load. Auditory and visual signal are produced by the units if there is a maintenance problem. To find out what problem is occurring, our units only require you to hit the units’ information button and it will give the details of the problem. This means no yearly maintenance contracts, biomed service, testing devises, or simulators required for complete unit testing or product indemnification.
Quick Shock: Philips HeartStart AED’s they can deliver a shock typically in less than eight seconds after the end of a CPR pause. The earlier a shock is delivered the better chance of survival the patient will have. CPR has been proven as very beneficial for longer downtime cardiac arrest patients. As soon as the CPR has stopped so do the benefits it gives, so time to shock after CPR is very important. Quick Shock helps to limit the interruption of CPR chest compressions, making it more likely that a shock will result in a successful return to spontaneous circulation, saving more lives!
As compared to competitors, the Philips Quick Shock is far ahead in time to shock after CPR stops. With Quick Shock around 8 seconds and the next closest is around 14 seconds. This is almost double the amount of time which is so utterly important in the survival of the patient. Each unit after that only takes a longer time lowering the chance of survival and wasting the benefits of the CPR that was administered previously.
Shock Technology: Philips and Zoll were the first two companies to develop SMART biphasic, low energy devices as opposed to monophasic. The benefit of biphasic is that the shock travels from one pad to another and back. This helps create a full circuit of energy as well as allowing Philips to lower the amount of Jewels administered per shock. On average the old shocks used about 300J and now only about 120-150J is used. The fewer Jewels with the same amount of energy will do less damage to the heart tissue.
Through research and development, Philips has found that it is the most beneficial to deliver the best shock first. Subsequent shocks may still be needed, but giving the best shock first allows the best chance for survival. Some other units use preset escalating Jewels for their shocks. The problem with this is that they are preset, not allowing to change in a hurry in case of a situation. Even if pedi-pads are inserted the full shock would still be administered.
Philips has also developed impedance compensating waveform when shocking. This helps to make sure that no matter the size of the individual being shocked, the same and proper shock will be given. Impedance is about body composition (BMI), NOT size! For example, a 300lb football player and an 80 year old lady would have different body compositions, but both would still receive the proper shock!
Another benefit of the Philips devices is that they can be used to shock even on wet or metal surfaces. Water, metal, and other humans are great conductors of energy. With this being said, when using an AED you need to be aware of your surroundings. However, with Philips technology you can feel comfortable administering a shock in wet environments, while touching metal, or even could shock while touching the victim (Not recommended). All other units would require you to move the patient into a dry area or off metal. Each second is so valuable that being able to shock where they lie is a top priority!
Battery Technology: Philips batteries have five cells in each. This ensures that they don’t all drain at the same time. This technology makes sure you never lose the quick charge time based on your battery life! With the Philips batteries you can be reassured that you will be able to give a shock in a short amount of time as you would be able to with a new one. The batteries and capacitors that Philips uses are the reason for their quick shock time!
The batteries that are used in the Philips AED’s are some of the best available! All the batteries are warranted for four years and have an unused shelf life of about 5 years. The batteries are rated for over 200 shocks but no more than 300. Without using the device besides the self checks, you would use about 208 shocks over four years. The devices and batteries come with a chip in them in order to identify the life of the battery and any other necessary information that could be obtained about the life of the device or the incident it was used for.
When the battery is down to about 10-20% of life left it will trigger the low battery light. At this point, you would want to verify the spare batteries install by date hasn’t passed. If the battery is still ok for use, using a black sharpie marker, write the install date on the battery so proper maintenance can be kept.
Another benefit of the Philips units is that once you have used a unit for a live shock, all you need to do is replace the pads. There is no need to replace the battery! Other companies will require that after a shock, new pads and batteries be purchased and installed. This can obviously become pricey with replacing all parts!
Q: Am I liable if I use an AED?
Indemnity: As long as you maintain the Philips unit to manufacturer standards, they will cover in the event of a lawsuit. Maintaining the unit is the consumers and our responsibility together. There has never been a successful lawsuit for trying to use an AED with good faith. The Good Samaritan Law which is if you have rendered aid in good faith and without malicious intent you are exempt from liability. (Just don’t beat the injured over the head with the AED) Lawsuits that have won have been from failing to have an AED/using it and failure to maintain the unit and it fails.
Using a Philips device in the event of a downed individual, you will NOT do any more damage! You can be confident knowing that no matter what you will not harm the individual. Between the 200+ heart rhythms, there are only five shock-able rhythms. Our semi-automatic devices will not administer a shock unless it is required. Even if a shock is not required, you can still monitor the heartbeat in the case that the heart would begin one of the five shock-able rhythms. The only thing lost would be the cost of new pads.
Before 2005, all AED’s required a medical prescription. The FDA tested products and the Philips Onsite is the first AED to receive over the counter sales clearance into the home without a medical prescription by the FDA. It was also the first one cleared by the FDA for sale to the general public without a medical prescription. If using a defibrillator other than the Onsite it would be necessary to obtain a prescription in order to be FDA compliant! A prescribing physician could be someone in congregation at church, a neighbor, or supplied by Philips for $110 which includes medical oversight. Anyone who writes a prescription, as well as the medical director of a safety program, the end user, and/or the acquirer have immunity from being sued in the case of using the AED.
There are four major components included in each state for their AED laws. These can vary from state to state.
1 – Maintain the device according to manufacturers’ specifications. These requirements vary by the different devices.
2 – Notify local EMS office of brand and location. This is done with the goal of having one central registry of all AED’s. In case of emergency they could share devices.
3 – Have a written policy and procedure for use. By having a written plan/policy everyone can know how and when to use the units.
4 – Have all expected users trained. This can be anyone who would be around when there is the highest opportunity for use. Want someone in the building who is an expected user about 95% of the time.
Some states also require the use of medical oversight. (Not in NE) This is a medical person who is responsible for incident follow-up, protocol for use, and the training program.
Q: What kind of warranty comes with a Philips AED?
Warranty: Philips offers the best product and parts warranty in the industry. With the Onsite and FRx there is a full eight year warranty on the device, up to four years on the batteries, two years of pads and twelve months on other accessories. We can offer a two year extended warranty with our products. Having the extended warranty covers any updates or changes to the system and parts.
Q: What types of things need to be considered when placing AEDs?
Local officials, management and physicians providing oversight are best able to determine an organization's need for AEDs and where they should be placed. An efficient PAD program optimally achieves a 3-minute response time from collapse of patient to on-scene arrival of the AED with a trained lay rescuer. When making these decisions use this 3-minute response time as a guideline to help you determine where and how many AEDs to place in your location. The following points may help you decide where to place AEDs:
Address locations at which defibrillation can’t be administered in a timely manner. The AHA notes that for every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance for survival decreases about 10%. An efficient PAD program would optimally be able to achieve a 3-minute response time from collapse of patient to arrival on-scene of the AED with a trained rescuer.
Based upon historical data, identifying locations at which the incidence of cardiac arrest is high, or higher, is important in identifying AED placement sites. Companies should determine if there are locations within the site where the incidence may be higher (such as corporate health clubs). Other areas to consider include those with a high population density such as cafeterias.
*Volume and Risk of Visitors/Employees
Identifying the number of visitors and/or employees at a location can be helpful in determining the need for an AED. No research is yet available that shows a threshold number for placing AEDs. However, common sense indicates that locations with large numbers of employees, visitors or both have a greater need for an AED than locations with lower numbers. Additionally, determining whether a location needs an AED based upon the “high risk” of visitors/employees should also be considered.
Assessing the “high risk” activity at a location can be helpful in determining the need for an AED. Obviously, a health/exercise facility with an aging population has a higher risk for incidence than a location with minimal physical activity.
*Vertical Response Time
Response time should be calculated based upon how long it takes to reach a potential victim, not the time it takes medical help to reach a particular street location. Large office complexes or high-rise buildings present often-challenging obstacles to providing early defibrillation. The presence and location of AEDs in these settings can greatly impact survival rates.
*Multiple Placements in Large Areas or High Traffic Locations
Consider placing more than one AED at a location that covers a large area, has multiple buildings or floors or has a significantly high number of employees or visitors. Each location should determine whether one AED will be able to provide timely and early defibrillation. Currently there’s no research that indicates a recommended coverage area for an AED, however achieving a 3-minute response time should be the primary guide to making placement decisions.
Give heavy consideration to the actual location of the AED at the facility to ensure that the AED is accessible to trained rescuers if it’s needed. Determine a location where the AED is both secure and accessible. Be sure a nearby phone can be used to call the EMS system and that it has easy access to an outside line. All trained users should know should know of this location and be assured access upon need. Potential locations may include security posts, first aid stations, the main receptionist area and fitness/exercise rooms.
*Other Placement Considerations
Be sure to take into consideration the potential need for defibrillation capability at off-site business meetings, conference and special events such as company social gatherings. Making an AED accessible for traveling executives may also be a consideration.
With survival rates decreasing 7-10 percent for every minute defibrillation is delayed, having an AED at your location with trained rescuers can significantly impact the lives of your employees if this intervention is needed.