Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest – Do you know how to help?

Jeff Rossen using an AED Trainer on the Today Show.

Jeff Rossen using an AED Trainer on the Today Show.

Thank you to Jeff Rossen on the Today show for featuring Automated External Defibrillators and CPR and bringing public awareness to the importance of these life-saving devices (video featured here). At AED.com, part of our mission is to educate the public on recognizing Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the awareness of AEDs, performing bystander CPR before the paramedics arrive and using the defibrillator to shock the victim when needed.

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High Temperatures Putting Your AED At Risk

Heat Effects

Do you have an AED stored outside in a cabinet or in the trunk of your car in the summer heat?

Much like concerns for below freezing temperatures affecting the performance of an Automated External Defibrillator, extremely high temperatures can also be detrimental. For a medical device relied upon to restart the heart of a person in sudden cardiac arrest, being ready to perform in an emergency is crucial.

Each AED manufacturer lists an operating temperature range and standby temperature range on the AEDs technical data sheet or operator’s manual. Operating temperature refers to the range in which the AED will perform in a rescue situation and is normally listed at 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C) for most units. In order to maximize the life of your AED pads and batteries, the AED unit should not be stored in temperatures that exceed the specified standby temperatures, which can vary by manufacturer. (Please refer to your specific AEDs guidelines here).

Defibrillator pads (electrodes), are placed on the patient’s chest to deliver a necessary shock from the AED to restart a heart experiencing ventricular fibrillation (a dangerous arrhythmia causing the heart to quiver chaotically). If your AED is exposed to extreme high temperatures, overtime the water-based gel on the pads may not perform fully due to excessive evaporation, causing pads to be unable to stick to a patient’s chest accurately to conduct the full electrical shock to the heart. Storing the pads at temperatures exceeding manufacturers’ specifications will cause them to expire prematurely.

Similarly, AED batteries can be affected by the heat. Over time, all batteries naturally self-discharge, which under normal environment conditions, lasts the full period of time specified by the AED manufacturer. Exposed to high temperatures in standby however, causes the battery to discharge prematurely by increasing the rate of discharge, therefore shortening the life of your battery.


HeartStation, produces a compact Extreme Environment Cabinet capable of accommodating AEDs from Philips, Physio-Control, HeartSine (in soft case), & Welch Allyn (w/o case).

If your AED must be stored outside in an area known for extreme high temperatures, make sure to place the AED in an area that will maximize shaded, cooler temperatures. When possible, store the AED indoors if temperatures are exceeding the standby temperature range specified for your unit.

For AEDs stored in vehicles, make sure to routinely check the unit for readiness. If the AED is chirping or displaying a service needed status indicator, take the unit indoors. Try removing the battery and reinstalling to see if the fail status clears. If the AED is still chirping or needs servicing, please call our 2nd Life biomedical technicians at 855-426-3543 for a free service estimate.

Cardiac Science Warns Against 3rd Party Pad Providers

Cardiac Science 3rd Party Pad Warning
Cardiac Science sent out a correspondence to all Powerheart G3 AED owners last week warning of the use of off-brand electrodes with their AED. They stated that these third-party pads had not been officially tested, therefore were not approved for use with the Powerheart G3 AED. If a consumer does use a set of off-brand pads with the Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 AED, several reprecussions take place:

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New AED Release: Cardiac Science Powerheart G5

G5 Release

One month ago the brand-new Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AED was released. The Powerheart G5 is the first FDA-cleared AED to combine fully automatic shock delivery, dual-language functionality, variable escalating energy, and fast shock times to help rescuers save an SCA victim’s life according to the May 12th press release.

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8th Grader Saved By AED During School

Taiwan 8th Grader Saved

A healthy 8th grade student in Taiwan suddenly went into cardiac arrest during class and lost consciousness on May 26th. The student, identified only by his surname, Chen, had no pulse when the school nurse reached him. The school nurse immediately began CPR with the aid of the school principal and other teachers.

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Teen Survives Cardiac Arrest from Near-Fatal Baseball Pitch

Walker Johnson Baseball SCA
A 13-year-old baseball player threw a pitch in the 5th inning of a game in April when a batter made contact and the ball struck Walker Johnson in the chest, sending him into Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

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San Diego Jogger Saved by Former City Councilman

Jim Madaffer with his wife, Robin saved Melvin Weaver from cardiac arrest in early April

Jim Madaffer with his wife, Robin saved Melvin Weaver from cardiac arrest in early April

Earlier this month, Melvin Weaver’s life was saved in part due to the death of Ron McElliott, who dropped dead of sudden cardiac arrest over 15 years ago after a 10K run in Chula Vista. McElliott was a civic leader who inspired others, including his friend and former San Diego City Councilman Jim Madaffer, who took to spreading the word about AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) after his friend’s passing.

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