Every Physician Should Have an Automated External Defibrillator

Much like a smoke detector or a fire alarm, an automated external defibrillator is an emergency device that should be in every doctor’s office. While it may not be used as often in a podiatrist’s office as a cardiologist’s office; it would still be beneficial for all medical practitioners to have this piece of durable medical equipment.

Almost 350,000 Americans die every year from cardiac arrest. Without the use of defibrillation, only two to five percent of cardiac arrest victims survive. Those who received defibrillation within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest survived fifty to seventy percent of the time.

The cost of automated external defibrillators (AED) used to be a huge factor in why many doctor’s offices did not have AED’s. However, the cost of AED’s has lowered a lot in the past five years. The cost of an AED is a small price to pay when compared to the number of lives you can save by using it. Not only that, you can get refurbished medical equipment for a fraction of the price and it works just as well.

AED’s dramatically increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest, and all patients deserve to benefit from this technology. Physicians need to consider more than just the type of patients in their practice when deciding on an AED, but the distance to the nearest hospital or the likely response time for an ambulance as well.

Physicians need to consider the probability of a sudden cardiac arrest actually occurring in their office. In public locations, an AED is generally considered cost effective if the annual probability of a sudden cardiac arrest at that location is at least ten percent. Most health care settings, such as dialysis centers and high-risk cardiac specialty practices, have sudden cardiac arrest rates above and beyond the ten percent range.

You never know when someone could go into sudden cardiac arrest. For that reason, every physician owes it to their patients to have an AED and other lifesaving medical equipment in their office.