In defibrillators, every detail matters, and a critical component of this equipment is the AED pads.
But are all AED pads the same? In an emergency where every second counts, having the right pads on hand can help save a life.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between basic types of AED pads and their specific uses, as well as key factors that determine the compatibility and effectiveness of AED pads.
Types of AED Pads
AED pads are not one-size-fits-all components. There are a variety of options to fit different needs.
These pads are designed specifically for children under a specified age or weight. Child pads are made for smaller chests and they deliver a lower shock intensity that’s suitable for a child’s heart.
Philips Onsite Infant/Child Pads are specified for usage on children or infants under eight years old or less than 55 pounds.
These standard pads are calibrated to deliver a higher shock intensity suitable for adult hearts. The Philips Onsite Adult Smart Pads are designed to be used on sudden cardiac arrest patients who weigh over 55 pounds.
Some AED pads are capable of being used for both adults and children. This versatility is particularly useful in environments like schools or community centres where both children and adults are present.
Philips FRx Adult Pads (Smart Pads II) are designed to be used on adults, children, and infants, which can save precious time in an emergency. When treating child and infant patients, the FRx AED makes use of a Child Key (sold separately, one-time upgrade) with the Smart Pads II. This key reduces the voltage on the pads so no time is wasted having to change them.
Each type of AED pad is designed with a specific patient in mind, and using the correct pad type is necessary for effective treatment.
Compatibility & Efficiency
Each AED has its own compatible pads, so depending on your model there are not too many decisions that need to be made.
Since not all AED pads are universally compatible with every AED model, it’s critical to use pads designed for or approved by the manufacturer of your specific AED. Using incompatible pads can lead to malfunction or failure in an emergency.
AED pads have an expiration date. Over time, the conductive gel dries out, which reduces the pad’s effectiveness. Depending on your AED model, the usual shelf life of AED pads is between two and five years. Always check the expiration date and replace the pads accordingly. Philips AED pads have a two-year shelf life and should be replaced after that time whether or not they’ve been used.
How to Select the Right AED Pads
Following these tips will help you make the right choice when selecting your AED pads:
- Consider the environment where the AED will be used. For instance, if it’s in a school or a place frequented by children, having child pads or multifunctional pads is best.
- Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your AED. These guidelines typically include recommended pad types and compatibility information.
- Regularly inspect your AED pads for any signs of wear and tear or expiration. Set reminders to check their condition and replace them as needed.
- Ensure that those expected to use the AED are trained and familiar with the types of pads available and how to choose the right one. Register your group for our CPR/AED course or purchase training pads now.
Understanding that not all AED pads are the same is necessary for effective emergency response. Knowing when to use pediatric and adult pads, as well as following compatibility requirements, expiration dates, regular maintenance, and proper training are equally as important.
Being well-informed about these aspects significantly enhances the effectiveness of AED use in emergencies. The right AED pad can be the difference between life and death.