When purchasing an AED everyone thinks about the initial purchase price, but there are other costs associated with AEDs that facility managers need to keep in mind. The total cost of ownership of an AED is a combination of usage, age, supplies, maintenance, paperwork, staff and volunteer training, as well as the cost of failure should any stage of this be implemented incorrectly.
To better understand the cost of an AED, it makes sense to break down these expenses.
Initial Purchase Price
Your initial purchase price will include the cost of the actual AED itself, which may vary by manufacturer. The average AED will last about ten years, but some can last as few as eight and others as long as fifteen depending on factors such as location, usage and exposure to the elements. This initial purchase price will include installing the proper number of AEDs throughout the building to provide a three minute response time when needed. In addition, there may be a cost for purchasing and mounting cabinets in which to place the AED as well as the needed pads and batteries, if these do not come with your initial device purchase.
To determine your initial purchase price, check with your local supplier to better understand what devices are available in your area.
Ongoing Cost of Ownership
After installation of the AED, there will also be ongoing costs of ownership. Remember the cost and risk of not installing and properly managing an AED when creating your budget. Ongoing costs can be broken down into three main areas: maintenance, training, and risk.
Smoke detectors in your house need regular battery replacement and testing, as do flashlights and other emergency equipment. An AED is no different and requires regular maintenance due to the expiration of the pads and batteries. In addition, the gel in the electrodes can dry out or lose their "stickiness" over time. Keeping track of multiple AEDs across a large facility can be tricky, so the best option may be to use a software program to manage this process.
An AED will only work if there are trained emergency responders on-site to use the device. While most AEDs are easy to use, there are differences and only some offer feedback with simple instructions, the protocol is very specific for how and when to use an AED. Some states require that users be properly trained in order to use an AED. Make sure your facility trains an appropriate number of staff both at the time of installation and ongoing in order to account for staff turnover and refresher needs. There are many different training options available for AED use.
It is imperative that you learn how to manage and reduce risk for your facility in the event of cardiac incident. After all, an AED doesn't do anyone any good if you don't know where it is or worse yet it doesn't work when needed. Your risk will be minimized through an in-depth understanding of local laws, an up to date tracking system for maintenance and testing, and regular training and updates for your staff.
Cost of Use
Don't forget that there is a cost of using your AED as well. Supplies need to be replaced. Post-incident reports need to be generated as well as time taken to do a post-incident follow-up and/or any regulatory filings with local agencies. There may also be a cost associated with staff counseling, particularly if the attempt is unsuccessful. This recent EHS Today report indicates that two-thirds of cardiac arrest victims who received a bystander applied AED survived to hospital discharge which is much better than the 10% survival rate of those who had to wait for EMS to arrive. However, there is still the one-in-three chance that the attempt will be unsuccessful and result in a sense of loss and failure for the lay responders.
It may seem like a lot of information to keep track of, but fortunately there are professionals ready to help. PlusTrac™ is the world's leading AED program management solution and has been providing AED program management and training for over sixteen years.
Click here to get a free trial of our mobile Check AED app and download our free guide for facility managers on Reducing Risk with a Managed AED Program. Take control and start minimizing your facility risk today.