AED for Boat?

mike_hammer_2mike_hammer_2 Posts: 5 Greenhorn
Hi all,

I'm new here and apologize if this topic has been discussed, but I'm wondering if anyone has or has considered an AED unit like one of those for their boat? I've been back and forth on whether it's likely worth the investment and have had some input on both sides.

And before anyone gets too mad...I did try to search but I guess the query was too small?

Anyway, feedback is appreciated and thanks to all.

Replies

  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 549 Officer
    Couldn't hurt...
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,342 Moderator
    did you put a 40' pole with a ground strap and a diffuser to your boat or do you see them on all boats. Probably not. Would it be a good investment to save someone from a lightning strike? As its a much more likely scenario. Why even go offshore at all, I mean a methane release could over aerate the water causing you to sink without warning.

    Now i realize that is a bit of an overstatement, but my point is, is that there is an inherent risk in most activities. Having the ability to contact help and having the ability to let help know where you are at should be your first safety equipment beyond the standard coast guard kits(VHF, epirb). After this investment, I would go with redundant systems. I like secondarys to be handhelds and waterproof, so they can operate out of a ditch bag, if needed.(hh VHF, PLB)
    With the defib unit also comes its use. Are you going to hold a training seminar with all new crew before heading out. If not, what if your the one who needs it?

    My vote would be to save the money.

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 738 Officer
    You didn't say if this was a personal or commercial craft. I would say it depends entirely on the risk factors of the passengers on the boat. If it is a public boat and you do not control who is on the boat by screening their health risks, it could be a worthwhile investment. Despite Dan's excellent recommendations, if a cardiac event was to occur, the time it will take to get you to a first responder capable of rending aid would likely be way too long.

    If this is for a personal watercraft, then I assume that you see a medical need for it. That's a personal decision and you need to have someone trained with you for it to be of any value. I'm trained as a work requirement and have seen them used at work. They save lives and our FD respomse time is 5-6 minutes away. They will not restart a stopped heart. There has to be some activity. Good luck on your decision.
  • mike_hammer_2mike_hammer_2 Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    FS Dan wrote: »
    did you put a 40' pole with a ground strap and a diffuser to your boat or do you see them on all boats. Probably not. Would it be a good investment to save someone from a lightning strike? As its a much more likely scenario. Why even go offshore at all, I mean a methane release could over aerate the water causing you to sink without warning.

    Now i realize that is a bit of an overstatement, but my point is, is that there is an inherent risk in most activities. Having the ability to contact help and having the ability to let help know where you are at should be your first safety equipment beyond the standard coast guard kits(VHF, epirb). After this investment, I would go with redundant systems. I like secondarys to be handhelds and waterproof, so they can operate out of a ditch bag, if needed.(hh VHF, PLB)
    With the defib unit also comes its use. Are you going to hold a training seminar with all new crew before heading out. If not, what if your the one who needs it?

    My vote would be to save the money.

    FSD

    Thanks I appreciate the input and understand the perspective!
  • mike_hammer_2mike_hammer_2 Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    rehartline wrote: »
    You didn't say if this was a personal or commercial craft. I would say it depends entirely on the risk factors of the passengers on the boat. If it is a public boat and you do not control who is on the boat by screening their health risks, it could be a worthwhile investment. Despite Dan's excellent recommendations, if a cardiac event was to occur, the time it will take to get you to a first responder capable of rending aid would likely be way too long.

    If this is for a personal watercraft, then I assume that you see a medical need for it. That's a personal decision and you need to have someone trained with you for it to be of any value. I'm trained as a work requirement and have seen them used at work. They save lives and our FD respomse time is 5-6 minutes away. They will not restart a stopped heart. There has to be some activity. Good luck on your decision.

    This was great feedback and a great question. The boat is personal, but I hadn't thought about the commercial aspect. Even in a personal situation, you aren't always 100% sure what the hell of some visitors might be.

    You said you've used them at work--do you have any perspective on units you like? I've heard positive feedback on both Zoll AEDs and Phsyio-Control AEDs such as those linked to, but don't really know much about them.

    Thanks all for the input, it helps with making a good decision.
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 738 Officer
    I know that we had the Phillips units but I'm not sure if we still use them or have switched. I'm off for a few days but I'll check when I go back in mid-week and let you know. We have dozens of them and have had them for years. I'll see what kind of reliability issues there have been, if any.
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,369 Officer
    You never said why you are considering an AED. If you or your boating friends or family have a lengthy cardiac history, or are at high risk for a cardiac event, then maybe it's worth considering. But an AED is just part of the equation. Some has to be trained in CPR, someone other than the boat driver. Additionally, you have to keep the AED charged and it has to be inspected and calibrated annually. The AED also has to be kept in something that will protect it from the saltwater environment.
    I think FS Dan make a good point. And that is, you can't protect yourself from everything. It's probably more sensible to have good communications, and know where the closest place is to take a cardiac patient to meet with a patient transport vehicle.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,218 Officer
    You are more likely to need an AED in your house or work, so buy one and keep it in your house & work and move it to your boat when you go diving or fishing. If you use 110 V power tools at home/work all it takes is a faulty ground &/or loose wire to stop your ticker, or slippery fingers when plugging anything in to a household 110 V outlet if your are standing barefoot on cement or tile.

    I have personally had a friend who died from a lighting strike while playing tag football under a clear blue sky while standing in a group of players, and another person who was electrocuted in his house that stopped his heart. His wife saved his life by pounding on his chest. (He had the "Out of Body" experience".)
    Giimoozaabi
  • gheftyghefty Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    it is better t have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it.
    On the chance that someone you care about needs an AED, the money you would have spent to have one at hand is quickly forgotten.
    Just my opinion,
  • mike_hammer_2mike_hammer_2 Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    rehartline wrote: »
    I know that we had the Phillips units but I'm not sure if we still use them or have switched. I'm off for a few days but I'll check when I go back in mid-week and let you know. We have dozens of them and have had them for years. I'll see what kind of reliability issues there have been, if any.

    Awesome thank you!
  • mike_hammer_2mike_hammer_2 Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    SCFD rtrd. wrote: »
    You never said why you are considering an AED. If you or your boating friends or family have a lengthy cardiac history, or are at high risk for a cardiac event, then maybe it's worth considering. But an AED is just part of the equation. Some has to be trained in CPR, someone other than the boat driver. Additionally, you have to keep the AED charged and it has to be inspected and calibrated annually. The AED also has to be kept in something that will protect it from the saltwater environment.
    I think FS Dan make a good point. And that is, you can't protect yourself from everything. It's probably more sensible to have good communications, and know where the closest place is to take a cardiac patient to meet with a patient transport vehicle.

    Appreciate that input and points, thank you.
  • FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,329 Moderator
    If someone's heart goes into fibrillation, the only thing that's going to restore normal rhythm is an AED or doctor/paramedic with a defib unit. And for every minute that a person's heart is fibrillating, the odds of surviving go down by 7-10 percent. Good units can be had for $1200-$1500ish last time I made a purchase (5 or 6 years ago). That's a pretty small price to pay to save a life.

    That said, I have been chartering for over 20 years now. Around 150 trips per year on an average good year. While I do always ask if anyone has any health concerns I should know about, I've never had an AED unit onboard during all that time and I have never needed one. Still, one never knows... I will be purchasing a unit before the next season (spring of next year).

    Yes, technically, you should be trained but they really are very simple to operate. Remove it from the bag, turn it on and listen to it. It will prompt you to do everything in the order required (which really isn't much). The pads are labeled, usually with a diagram, to show where each is to be placed on the victim's body (most units will still work even if you get the pads reversed). The pads need to be applied to bare skin so, you'll have to remove clothing and if you have a dude with a huge teen wolf factor going on, you might need to shave the areas for the pads first. Most AED units come with a razor in the kit. If not, place one in the kit.

    I am familiar with both Laerdal and Phillips units. Both are very nice and simple to operate. The Phillips unit is a little nicer than the Laerdal as it contains an electronic key that, when inserted, allows the unit to be utilized on infants using the same pads as the adults (most come with separate pads for infants). It also has a cadence signal that allows you to time chest compressions at the proper rate of 100-120 compressions per minute, in the event CPR is necessary (the units will tell you if it's necessary). Battery life is typically on the order of 6 years and if you purchase from a reputable supplier (I think I used AED Superstore online), they will send you notices when batteries need to be replaced or upgrades need to be made. They make it really simple.

    I don't know your age but when I was growing up during the 70s, "Emergency" was a popular TV show. Here's a clip that shows everything required back in the old days when someone was in need of defibrillation. Yes, it's pretty cheesy and they also fail to issue "clear" before hitting the patient with the defib but it gives the general idea. Lots of time elapsed between the onset of symptoms to the patient and help arriving to deliver defib. A cardiologist was typically required to interpret heart rhythm and inform the paramedics how to set the machine for proper defib. An AED replaces everyone in the scenario below. And on a boat, you likely won't have access to EMS until it's too late. I'm not suggesting that you should purchase one but, they ARE lifesavers when needed and they can be had for what amounts to a very small investment in the long run.
    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,297 Admiral
    You are more likely to need an AED in your house or work, so buy one and keep it in your house & work and move it to your boat when you go diving or fishing. If you use 110 V power tools at home/work all it takes is a faulty ground &/or loose wire to stop your ticker, or slippery fingers when plugging anything in to a household 110 V outlet if your are standing barefoot on cement or tile.

    I have personally had a friend who died from a lighting strike while playing tag football under a clear blue sky while standing in a group of players, and another person who was electrocuted in his house that stopped his heart. His wife saved his life by pounding on his chest. (He had the "Out of Body" experience".)

    Great point, they don't teach Precordial Thump any more but I've done it a few times and seen it done many times in the old days. It worked one or 2 times I've done it and I seen it work, although all these people were on a monitor and we could see the problem. One thing most people don't understand is the survival rate with good CPR and ACLS is only around 15%. and much less then that for people over 60. If it makes you feel safer get one, but if you are off shore....well, I guess you could say you tried everything.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
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