Having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is just the first step in your AED program. To be successful in saving more lives from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, there are numerous best practices to follow but here are a few basics to get started:


Have a known and designated person in charge
There should be one person in charge of the AED program who manages the regular inspections, keeps track of trained responders and makes sure the program is in compliance.


Have a plan in place
This plan should be led by the designated person in charge. Much like a fire escape route, you should have a cardiac emergency plan so that anyone in the building can follow protocol and help.


Get to an AED and back within 3 minutes
For every minute that passes, the chance of survival decreases by 10%. Applying an AED as quickly as possible will result in the highest chance at survival. The American Heart Association recommends using the three-minute response time as a guideline to determine how many AEDs are needed and where to place them.


Have at least one formally trained responder within each AED response zone
An AED response zone is that area of 3 minutes from the previous statement. For example, if the closest AED is 6 minutes away from you, a new AED should be added, and for each of those AEDs a trained responder should be on site within that area. AEDs are nearly foolproof and anyone can use them, but the best practice is to still have a trained responder there. Click here to sign up for training.


The AED should be accessible by everyone
Do not put your AED behind any locked door or locked cabinet. The AED should be accessible by anyone to get to as quickly as possible.


The AED should be visible
There should be prominent signs around and pointing to the AED. The cabinet or case for the AED should also be clearly marked.


Be aware of laws and regulations
Even if you are following best practices, there may be additional laws and regulations in your state. Stay up to date with these to stay in compliance. If you are a RescueStat customer, you can find your state laws in Apollo in the AED Law Center.


Program Management and Remote Monitoring
Apollo Program Management in conjunction with Scout Remote Monitoring provides the best visibility into your AED program. ApolloPM helps you to keep your expiration dates in order, provides Medical Direction and event review from our nationally certified physician, access to the AED Law Center, and more. ScoutRMS listens for your AED’s self-test and alerts you if the test has failed, giving you more frequent and reliable checks of your AED’s readiness.


Promote a Culture of First Responders™
While it is a best practice to have trained responders on site, everyone in your organization should know where the AEDs are located and feel empowered to use them. Remove any stickers from the AED cabinet or case that may inhibit anyone from using the AED in an emergency. Make sure your team knows the signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and other emergencies. If you don’t require a full AED/CPR/First Aid Certification for your entire team, we offer a quick and easy online class, “Until Help Arrives,” to cover the basics. Visit our Eva Empowerment Resources page for more ideas on how to promote a Culture of First Responders™.


For a full review of your AED program, fill out the form below and a member of our team will contact you to come up with a plan that works best for you and your organization.