How Many AEDs is Enough?

Silhouette illustration different variants of classical school building in a flat style.

The American Heart Association brings forward a valuable resource in the Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (more information available here), but the next logical question is:

“How many AEDs does my school need?”

Inspired by the question, we have compiled several items to consider when placing AEDs in your school.

Current Expert Advisement and State Legislation:

For a glimpse into your state’s most current AED laws, check out the link here.

Response Time:

The AHA recommends, when placing an AED, you should consider facilitating a two minute response time from collapse of the individual to arrival of the AED. By examining the layout of your school, you can determine the optimal placement of your AEDs to ensure the best chance of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival.

Additionally, it is important to note for every minute defibrillation is delayed, survival rate decreases by 10%. By creating an efficient placement map that addresses locations at which defibrillation can’t be administered you can drastically improve your response time.

High Risk Activity:

Parent Heart Watch informs us that SCA in youths is not so rare after all, as cardiovascular disease is the second leading medical cause of death in children and adolescents in the United States. Assessing “high risk” activity locations within the school can be helpful in determining where an AED could be most needed. These locations could include a school’s fitness facility, track and field, gymnasium or playgrounds.

Incident Rate:

By  examining your school’s historical data, you can identify locations where incidence of sudden cardiac arrest is high. This is important for identifying AED placement, and ensuring the optimal chance for SCA survival. Areas of a high concentration of students is a good starting point such as cafeterias, assembly halls and front offices.

Population of Students, Staff and Visitors:

Along with students and staff, it is important to identify the number of anticipated visitors to your school when considering AED placement. In determining the number of visitors, a school can also add to its knowledge base of “high risk” locations – ones with numerous visitors.

Other Placement Considerations:

One or more AEDs should be held in reserve for use as a replacement for any AED which may be out-of-service for maintenance or other issues. This backup AED should also be available for use by as many of the other AED locations as possible.

Your school should regularly check and maintain each school-owned AED in accordance with the AED’s operating manual and maintain a log of the maintenance activity. For a solution to AED medical direction and oversight, check out Arch.

Ensuring a response time of two minutes can be the difference between survival and fatality. To further prepare your school for SCA emergencies, check out AHA’s CERP program here. As always, AED Superstore is here as your industry expert, and we want to ensure your public safety and peace of mind when equipping your school with an AED. Give us a call at 800-544-0048, and let us walk through the process with you and help discover your school’s perfect number of AEDs.

One Response to “How Many AEDs is Enough?”

October 11, 2018 at 8:36 pm, Millie Hue said:

Thanks for helping me understand that the use of this equipment should not be delayed to keep the survival rate from decreasing by 10%. I just got curious how important this is because my aunt talked about buying a couple of this equipment this weekend. She will be using it in her facility once the factory has opened for hiring next year. She said that she wanted to be ready for any medical issue in the future.


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