The key to having a successful AED registry is awareness of the requirements and a clear process in place for AED owners to provide the information required. There are barriers that keep AED registries from being successful and restrict access or prevent AEDs from being registered. These include fees for registration, difficult-to-navigate sites and lack of awareness.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a life-saving device designed for use by both everyday rescuers and healthcare providers in the event of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The key to ensuring that AEDs can save lives when an SCA occurs is to have AEDs available and in locations that are not only available to bystanders, but to have these locations in a registry to ensure emergency services can access them too. This allows emergency services to both direct the volunteer responding to an AED should they witness an SCA or the EMT personnel can locate AED devices and have them available if needed.
The benefits of public access AEDs are well studied and reported upon. Caffrey et al. in 2002 found that in 82% of witnessed arrests, bystanders retrieved the AED in <5 minutes (when a device was available) and in 100% of witnessed arrests, EMS arrived after the bystander had retrieved the device.
Registering your AED provides 911 operators with crucial information that allows each operator the ability to instruct callers on the location of an AED, as well the information on the use of it, allowing he or she to deliver aid to the victim in just a few, critical, minutes. Unfortunately, many facilities with AEDs do not have a dedicated team who can oversee the registration process and ensure the AED’s location is known by the local EMS personnel or even all the staff members. Overseeing the registration process and ensuring the AED's location is known should be easy—still, the majority of US states that do have registration requirements don’t have a clear infrastructure in place for AED owners to register.
In contrast, there are 5 states and one Canadian Province that have set an example for the rest of the country (and world) by creating mandated AED registration programs. These cities are as follows (and be sure to check out their corresponding registry site through the hyperlink):
- Washington, DC
- Central Mountains (Colorado) Regional EMS Advisory Council
- Canadian Province of Prince Edward Island
So, what components make these registries so successful and what aspects should be used to model registries in other states?
- The leaders of each state created custom registries dedicated to their respective state.
- The site and registry was made to be user-friendly—allowing the end-users to navigate and use it with ease.
- The registry was able to store important data, which then can be used to generate reports that government stakeholders (and other interested parties) can use to assess the program’s successes (and possibly to locate any areas that need attention or changes).
- Most importantly, the registry and use of the site was FREE to all residents.
It is important to note that in some states or jurisdictions, it may be required to register your AED’s location in some way. If your agency is in a jurisdiction that requires the registration of AED locations in some manner, having a consistent point of entry can encourage registration, provide for consistent quality data and reporting and, support AED readiness and compliance.
The National AED Registry™ is the first and only national database resource specifically designed to help improve SCA survival rates by rapidly linking AEDs, AED users and SCA victims. The Registry serves as a repository of important data about AEDs and related AED program personnel and infrastructure, including information about:
- Individuals responsible for managing AED program sites and inspecting AEDs
- The identity of AEDs by the manufacturer, make/model and serial number
- The whereabouts of AEDs by physical address and specific placement location
- Specific days and times of AED availability
- The type and expiration dates of AED batteries and AED electrodes