Seriously, this is one of the most complicated decisions I have made in a long time. This weekend I was sure we had picked the right one. Today I talked to some AED companies and changed my mind. AED's have IP ratings. The IP rating tells you how durable the machine is. The higher the number, the more durable the machine. I thought this was mostly an issue for dragging it around and that if we bought a special case to protect it we would be fine.
Today I found out that the AED we picked is not very durable. It has one of the lowest IP ratings on the market. I was informed today that this is concerning because in the event of an actual arrest, people panic and sometimes drop or fumble the machine. A machine with a low IP rating can actually break if this happens. I was told today that it has happened and the machine was then incapable of giving the shock to save the person's life. How horrifying!
Another thing I found out today is that the "shock rate" varies per machine. This means that the time it takes to for the machine to analyze the heart rate and deliver a shock varies. The machine we picked this weekend has a shock rate of 20-25 seconds. That is a long time in an arrest. That's 25 seconds it's analyzing and preparing to shock and no CPR is being done. Every minute in an arrest without a heart rate decreases the risk of survival by 10%. We found two other AED's that are capable of delivering a shock in 8-10 seconds.
We also found that some AED's give excellent full coaching of CPR and some give very little. One of the AED's we are looking at gives total CPR coaching and actually measures the depth and rate of compression and can tell you to push harder and/or faster. This could be helpful.
So we picked two new AED's and are looking at all there specifics and trying to decide between the two. I will give it some time before we post our choice, in case we change our minds again!
I also found a company that sells AED's that is willing to give us a discount on a package that would have the AED plus a hard case, extra pads (which is recommended you always have on hand), and some other extras.