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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an AED?

A victim of sudden cardiac arrest will collapse often suddenly because their heart has stopped beating. There is a 5 minute window from collapse to shock that must occur in order for the victim to survive the event. Availability, accessibility and use of an AED may save the life of someone you love. 


Can't I just call 911 and have EMS treat the person?

Calling 911 is always the first step in a medical crisis. Statistics are that “call to shock” times are too often outside of the 5 minute window that a victim has to survive without CPR and an AED. Improving and optimizing survival rates means having AEDs available for public access in settings such as football and sports fields, in rural areas, and for individuals that are high risk.  


Who should have an AED?

All 50 states have enacted defibrillator laws or adopted regulations with the vision of placement of AEDs in public buildings, schools, transportation centers, airlines, health club/fitness centers, large offices, apartment buildings, dental offices, arenas and public gathering locations. You can see what type of legislation is enacted in your state by clicking here.


What is the cost to maintain an AED?

Pads, also known as electrodes, and batteries must be replaced on your AED after the AED is used and before the expiration date marked on each item. This can range any time between 2 and 5 years, depending on the AED model you choose. You may find it beneficial to invest in an AED compliance management service like Lifeshield which helps you more easily stay compliant with local and state regulations and provides reminders on battery and pad expirations.


How do I pick the right AED for my business?

We've put together AED packages for the most common settings to make it easier to purchase what's needed. Each AED has different features that may be beneficial to your business application, such as multi-language capability or WiFi connection. If you're unsure which to select, contact us and our specialists will help you choose the best model for your needs.


What is medical direction and do I need it?

It is important to know what your specific state laws are to determine if Medical Direction is required in your state. Medical Direction will provide a number of essential features to you including reviewing your policies and procedures and making sure adequate training is provided, consulting on AED placement, and EMS Notification.


What's the difference between a fully-automatic and semi-automatic AED?

Some manufacturers produce two versions of their AED units: Semi-Automatic and Fully Automatic.

A Fully Automatic AED reads a victim’s underlying heart rhythm and if they have a shockable rhythm, the AED will tell the rescuer to “Stand Clear” and will administer a shock automatically to the victim. An AED will NOT shock an individual if they do not need it.

A Semi-Automatic AED will read the victim’s underlying heart rhythm and if it detects a shockable rhythm, it will prompt the rescuer to push the Shock Button in order to deliver the electrical shock.


Should I buy a fully-automatic or semi-automatic AED?

The Fully Automatic version of AEDs were created with the intention of reducing delay in administering defibrillation therapy by lay rescuers who may not be comfortable pressing a shock button. If the AED will be placed in a highly public area where bystanders, or potential rescuers may not be trained, a Fully Automatic version may be a good choice.

If the AED will be mostly used by trained rescuers, some customers opt for the Semi-Automatic version in order to have complete control of the environment surrounding the SCA victim.


Will Insurance Cover my AED Purchase?

In most cases, insurance will not cover your AED purchase. There are some cases, however, such as if you have a condition that may increase your risk of sudden cardiac arrest. We recommend discussing your options with your insurance company and physician to learn more.


Why is the AED beeping?

The brand and model of your AED will influence why the AED is beeping. Some common reasons why an AED is beeping are: Battery or Pads are expired or pads are not connected properly. Give us a call at 800-349-4363 and we’ll help you troubleshoot.


Is my AED ready out of the box?

Most AEDs only require a few simple steps to ensure they are ready to respond during a sudden cardiac arrest event. This may include installing the battery, pressing a test button, or connecting the pads. We recommend reviewing the operator’s manual that was sent with your AED to familiarize yourself with its functions. You can also access digital versions of the manuals here. If you’d like to learn more about your AED and how to use it, consider signing up for AED & CPR training. 

How do I properly dispose of AED batteries?
When you change your AED battery, you can easily recycle the old one. We recommend searching online for “lithium battery recycling near me” and locate a drop-off location that is most convenient for you. Many places offer free recycling and convenient drop boxes.


How do I dispose of AED pads/electrodes?

Unlike AED batteries, AED pads/electrodes can be thrown away with other waste as usual. While disposing of your AED pads, we recommend checking the expiration date on your AED battery to ensure it's within the expiration date.


Can you reuse an AED pad? 

AED pads cannot be reused and are designed for single use. This includes situations where the pads were opened and placed on the victim even though a shock was not needed. If you are ever in doubt, give us a call and we’ll help you determine the next steps. 


Why do AED pads expire?

AED pads have a special gel substance that assist with conducting electricity. These pads also have metal components in them which help with the administration of a shock if needed. In time, the gel may begin to break down metal in the pad and cause the pad not to function as intended. In order to help avoid a situation where the pad no longer works, we recommend referencing the expiration date outlined on your AED pad and replenishing prior to that date.


How do I know which batteries and pads are compatible with my AED?

We’re here to help you confidently choose the accessories and replacement items for your AED. Our AED Replacement Kits allow you to select the compatible items you need for your AED without the worry. Of course, we are available through phone and chat to help you navigate this process, too. 

Do I really need to get certified in CPR and AEDs?

Some states have laws that require certain people to be trained in CPR and AEDs based upon their profession, business type, and/or if they have an AED on premise. Having the skills to help save a life is not only empowering, it helps you be ready to help save the life of a co-worker, friend, or loved one. 


What’s the difference between traditional and blended class?

A traditional training course encompasses all training and testing in an in-person classroom setting. A blended course has some online training alongside classroom training and testing.


Where can I access my CPR certificate?
Click here to obtain your CPR certificate.


Where can I access my CPR online course?
Click here to access online CPR courses.


How can I take a bloodborne pathogens class?

You can take a bloodborne pathogens class by adding it to any American Heart Association CPR training course taught in a traditional setting. 


How do I sign up for CPR class?

You can browse our CPR class offerings here. Each class has a flat rate for up to 8 students, so you can have anywhere from 1-8 students in attendance for the class. If you’d like to add more students, simply add another. Once you’ve purchased the class, our training team will reach out to you to schedule out the best date and time.


What if I don’t have 8 students?

That’s not a problem. The flat rate allows 1-8 students to attend. 

What is Stop the Bleed?

Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call to action started by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security in 2015. The program is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Stop the Bleed Kits and other specialized bleeding control kits can be used by both trained professionals and bystanders. 


How many kits do I need?

We always say it’s better to have something than nothing at all. At Cardio Partners, we specialize in helping you determine the right mix of safety products you need to keep your guests and employees safe. Contact us today to learn more.


What types of places need a bleeding control kit?

All types and sizes of businesses and organizations can benefit from having a bleeding control kit available. In fact, some states in the U.S. are actively rolling out bleeding control kit regulations for specific businesses and organizations. For example, Texas H.B. 496 states that public schools in Texas must have bleeding control stations on-site.  

Groups that can benefit from having bleeding control kits:

  • Schools, Daycares, Camps
  • Sporting Teams
  • Industrial and Corporate Settings
  • Public Venues
  • Construction Groups

What types of injuries does a bleeding control kit help?

Bleeding control kits are designed to stop life-threatening bleeding that could be caused by incidents such as:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Construction Accidents
  • Assembly Line/Industrial Accidents
  • Shootings
  • Stabbings
  • Natural Disasters

What is the difference between a bleeding control kit and a first aid kit?

First aid kits contain items to handle minor injuries such as abrasions, scrapes, frostbites, burns and deeper cuts. First aid kits do not stop life-threatening bleeding. A bleeding control kit handles bleeding caused by immediate life-threatening injuries like gunshot wounds, stabbing or crushing. They are designed specifically to stop heavy bleeding. 

How do you use an AED?

Since AEDs are produced by a number of manufacturers, there are slight differences to operating each AED, but all are very intuitive. In order to use an AED, begin by either opening the lid or pushing the "ON" button. From there, it's as simple as following the AED voice and text prompts which include directions such as "Attach electrodes to patient's bare chest" and "Begin CPR."

The AED itself will determine whether a shock is necessary, and if it is, will prompt the rescuer to push the shock button, or give a clear warning before shocking the victim. Since these devices guide a person through the entire rescue process, they can be used by people that haven't been trained in CPR/AED usage, however, it is highly recommended that every facility have trained personnel.


Can an AED be used on children or infants?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest in youth is not a rare occurrence.  SCA is the leading cause of death on school property, which includes not only children, but also teachers, administrators, parents and visitors.

The American Red Cross says that AEDs equipped with pediatric AED pads are capable of delivering lower levels of energy appropriate for infants and children up to 8 years old or weighing less than 55 pounds. Use pediatric AED pads and/or equipment, if available. If pediatric-specific equipment is not available, an AED designed for adults can be used on children and infants. Always follow local protocols, medical direction and the manufacturer’s instructions.  


Can an AED be used incorrectly?

The AED is designed to only shock if ventrical fibrillation is present. It will not shock any other heart rhythm. Nevertheless, AEDs are not perfect and in 1% of cases it may shock a rhythm other than VF. That’s why it should only be attached to a person who is unconscious and has collapsed. If the AED determines the heart is not in VF, it will not deliver a shock and will advise you to begin CPR.


Am I liable if the victim doesn't survive?

All 50 states have Good Samaritans laws designed to protect companies that choose to deploy AEDs. These laws reduce or eliminate the fear that people who help others could suffer legal repercussions. To receive protection under the Good Samaritan laws, a company must prove they meet all operational requirements for the deployment of an AED Program. If managing your AED is proving difficult, you may benefit from our AED compliance management service, Lifeshield.

What is sudden cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and erratically quivers, which inhibits blood from circulating to the brain. Essentially this is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. Many times a person that suffers from cardiac arrest has an underlying heart disease that has not been diagnosed, so it occurs unexpectedly. When someone suffers from cardiac arrest they will become unconscious and collapse. This happens because when the heart no longer circulates blood the brain loses oxygen and begins to shut down.

There is a chance that cardiac arrest can be reversed if cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is performed and/or a defibrillator is used to shock the heart back to a stable rhythm. Any treatment must be done quickly because the chance of brain injury increases every minute and damage will typically be permanent after five minutes. There are around 383,000 reported cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States every year. The majority of victims do not survive because they do not receive CPR or defibrillation in time.


Is a heart attack the same thing as sudden cardiac arrest?

It is common for cardiac arrest to be mistakenly called a heart attack, but the truth is there is a big difference between the two.

A heart attack is when one of the heart’s arteries is suddenly blocked and stops the proper flow of blood to the heart. Often the blockage is from a buildup of plaque that ruptures and in turn inhibits a portion of the heart from getting its vital supply of blood. This can lead to death if the blood supply is cut off for too long because the hearts muscle cells don’t receive the necessary oxygen. Some warning signs for a heart attack include chest and arm pain, weakness, dizziness, and nausea.

On the other hand, cardiac arrest is when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and stops the flow of blood to the brain. Unlike a heart attack, cardiac arrest usually happens without warning signs. Also, when someone has a heart attack they are usually conscious through it while during a cardiac arrest the brain loses oxygen and the victim will lose consciousness.

A heart attack is treated by returning the blood flow back to normal through treatments like medication, stenting, or surgery. Cardiac arrest is treated through defibrillation which restarts the heart to return it back to its normal rhythm. Although suffering from cardiac arrest does not mean you are more at risk for a heart attack, someone that has a heart attack can be more at risk of cardiac arrest.

What is a recertified AED?

A recertified AED is put through a rigorous 10-point inspection process in-house at Cardio Partners. The unit is cleaned, brought back to manufacturer standards, receives a software upgrade if needed and thoroughly inspected.

Cardio Partners has a biomedical technician team that recertifies AEDs and defibrillators.


What's the difference between a new and recertified AED?

New AEDs have never been used and all accompanying items are new. New AEDs carry the manufacturer's warranty. 

Recertified AEDs are used AEDs sent to CArdio Partners for a trade in or upgrade, or were previously a demo unit. They carry a 3-year warranty from Cardio Partners.


Is a recertified AED safe?

Every Cardio Partners recertified AED goes through a 10-point inspection process by our biomedical technicians. AEDs are brought to working, manufacturer-specified standards and meet the required operating specifications.


Why would someone trade in an AED?

AEDs are traded in for many reasons, including looking for a new model or better features, a recommendation from a professional EMS/Fire Department contact or a company-wide business decision to change AEDs. If you're interested in trading in your AED, see our Buy Back Program.