HeartSine samaritan® PAD 350P, Philips HeartStart OnSite, and Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR® Plus
When it comes to making the decision of which AED model to buy, the AHA encourages potential buyers to consider all models and make the selection based on the buyer’s particular needs.
AEDs on the market for public use are easy to use and require minimal training. There are many different models available, and they all offer the same basic functions.
The differences in AEDs come down to factors such as initial investment, ownership costs, included accessories, CPR guidance, size, ruggedness, overall operation, advanced features, display options, warranty and upgrading options.
This article reviews and compares the features of three popular models of defibrillators available on the market today: the HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P, the Philips HeartStart OnSite, and the Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR Plus.
Weight & Dimensions (H x W x D in inches)
If space is a factor or the AED is going to be transported to different locations, size and weight of the unit matters. If the AED is doing some traveling in a rescue pack, a smaller more lightweight unit may be desirable. A business tight on space may require smaller dimensions to allow for easier storage.
While all three models are very portable, the Samaritan is the most compact and lightweight with a footprint that is 28-56% smaller than other models on the market.
- Samaritan 4 lbs. / 8.0 x 7.25 x 1.9
- HeartStart 3 lbs. / 7.4 x 8.3 x 2.8
- LifePak 5 lbs. / 4.2 x 8.0 x 9.5
AEDs vary not only in size and weight, but also in ruggedness. It is important to examine the environment of the place of business and determine the conditions in which an AED may be used.
Environmental factors can affect the reliability of the unit – it is critical that an AED functions properly at the time of need. Specifications of AED models provide guidance as to which model is best for a specific workplace.
The ruggedness specs of the three models do vary, particularly for water/dust resistance.
- Samaritan 32° – 122° F (operating / standby)
- HeartStart 32° – 122° F (operating) and 50° – 109° F (standby)
- LifePak 32° – 122° F (operating) and -40° – 158° F (standby)
- Relative Humidity (non-condensing) – this is an important consideration for extremely humid work environments.
- Samaritan 5-95%
- HeartStart 0-95% (operating) and 0-75% (standby)
- LifePak 5-95%
- Falling Height – withstands drop to any edge, corner, or surface from specified height
- Samaritan 3 feet (1 meter)
- HeartStart 3 feet
- LifePak n/a
- Water/Dust Resistance — if there is the possibility of exposure to water or dust in your work environment, check the IP (Ingress Protection) rating. This two-digit system allows comparison of an electronic device’s ability to withstand dust particles and water exposure. To learn more about these ratings click here.
- Samaritan IP56
- HeartStart IP2X (solid objects) and IPX1 (drip-proof)
- LifePak IPX4 (“splash proof” with electrodes connected)
It is important to figure in the cost of supplies when evaluating an AED. The cost of replacing pads and batteries affects the overall cost of ownership.
There is a large variance in price is due to a few factors. One factor is the shelf life, or how often the pads need to be replaced. Keep in mind that pads expire because the adhesive material they are made of breaks down over time. If they do not adhere properly to the victim, the AED will not be able to analyze the heart rhythm.
Some models sell pads and batteries as a combined packaged, which may increase the price over just buying pads but offer a cost savings over buying pads and batteries separately.
Advanced technologies, such as pads designed with CPR sensors to use with AEDs that evaluate and guide CPR. This technology offers a valuable user-friendly feature, but comes with a higher price.
The shelf life of batteries and replacement cost is another factor to evaluate. Some models include batteries with pad replacements. Battery life varies with some models offering a rechargeable option.
Battery life varies according to how much it is used. Batteries operate functions such as AED self-checks which occur daily, weekly and/or monthly.
- Samaritan – four year shelf life, supplied with device, and are part of the Pad-Pak which includes batteries
- HeartStart – SMART Pads have a two-year shelf life and utilize technology that provides CPR feedback during use. Also, there are training SMART Pads available that provide real-world training scripts for AED training.
- LifePak – two year shelf life; rapid release QUIK-PAK electrodes allow pads to be pre-connected to the device and protected under top cover, which allows for quicker set-up and use.
- Samaritan – Lithium with four-year shelf life. Part of Pad-Pak, which includes pads, and allows for only one set of expiration dates to keep track of.
- HeartStart – 9 Volt DC with a 4-year shelf life.
- LifePak – Rechargeable lithium with 2 year shelf life. Comes with a CHARGE-PAK charger.
Controls & Indicators
All AEDs are designed to be user friendly. The controls and indicators of a unit can affect its usability and the comparison of these features is based on user preference.
- Samaritan – Two-button operation: ON/OFF and SHOCK. A ready indicator light flashes to indicate the AED is operational and ready to use.
- HeartStart – Green handle for activation, ON/OFF button for power and orange shock button to deliver shock. There is a ready indicator light as well as a shock indicator light. Audible “chirp” indicates need for maintenance.
- LifePak – Fully automatic controls: turn unit on, apply pads, and system does the rest. If delivery of shock is needed, voice prompts indicate what is occurring. There is no button to press for shock. There is a ready indicator light and a service needed light.
AEDs are FDA-approved medical devices to perform the function of analyzing a hearth rhythm during SCA and delivering a shock if needed. Some models offer advanced features that may prove to be valuable in a stressful rescue situation.
- Samaritan – Offers “CPR Coaching” with visual and voice prompts to guide user through the process. It guides pad placement, prompts “Stand Clear” for shock, prompts “Safe to touch patient” and indicates when to continue CPR.
- HeartStart – Offers Life Guidance, which calmly and clearly verbally instructs user through the process from pad placement, to performing CPR, to shock delivery. Also provides advanced CPR guidance using feedback from SMART Pads. Guides the frequency and depth of chest compressions. Training Mode is available using special pads that turn the AED into a trainer unit. Also includes a video collection for training.
Quick Shock technology allows the HeartStart model to minimize the time to shock after CPR. It can deliver shock just eight seconds after CPR.
- LifePak – Delivers a shock up to 360 joules. The standard shock level of 200J is sometimes ineffective. The LifePak has the ability to escalate in power from 200J to 300J to 360J. While 200J is effective for the majority of SCA victims, some may require a higher energy shock.
Data Storage and Access
Many AED programs require documentation of an SCA event and access to data collected for evaluation afterward. It is important to know what data is stored and how it can be accessed.
- Samaritan – 90 minutes of ECG (electrocardiogram) and event/incident recording is saved on internal memory. There is a USB cable that connects to PC and special software is used to review data.
- HeartStart – the first 15 minutes of ECG and entire incident report is stored on internal memory. The data can be wirelessly transmitted to a Smartphone or PC.
- LifePak – Dual patient data storage, with minimum of 20 minutes of ECG data stored for current patient and summarized data for previous patient. Data reports include continuous ECG, summary of critical resuscitation events, time-stamped event log reflecting operator and device activity, and device self-test activity report. All data is stored on internal memory and can be transmitted wirelessly to a PC.
An AED should be “rescue-ready”, meaning it is ready, up-to-date, and in working order at all times. Features such as frequent self-testing and clear indications of malfunction mean your AED is more likely to be rescue-ready. All three models have some level of self-testing.
- Samaritan – Runs a self-check each week. A System Status Ready indicator flashed to show the unit is operational and ready to use.
- HeartStart – Includes the following automated and user-activated self-tests (85 total): daily automatic self-tests on internal circuitry, waveform delivery system, pads cartridge, and battery capacity; pads integrity test to check for readiness-for-use of pads; upon battery insertion there are automatic self-checks and user-interactive tests check device readiness. A “chirp” sound indicates need for maintenance.
- LifePak – Self-checks are performed and recorded at an unspecified interval. Indicator will show “OK” when the last self-test was completed successfully.