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The difference between semi-automatic and fully-automatic defibrillators

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aed with manual override

When it comes to different types of AED defibrillators, the main distinction is between semi-automatic defibrillators and fully automatic defibrillators.

In truth, the difference is rather small, and the choice often comes down to your own personal circumstances and preferences. Both have advantages unique to themselves, so you should take the time to choose the specific kind of AED defibrillator that you believe you will be most comfortable operating, or which suits your circumstances better.

Shock administration

Semi-automatic defibrillators normally include a shock button incorporated into the device. The defibrillator will analyse a patient’s heart rhythm, advising you whether or not a patient needs to receive a shock, and instructing you to activate the shock button in order to do so.

Conversely, fully automatic defibrillators require no user intervention. 

They will inform you to stand clear of the patient, should analysis suggest that a shock is appropriate, and will then proceed to automatically administer the shock on your behalf.

Semi-automatic vs. fully-automatic

With a semi-automatic device, you are able to make sure everyone has moved away from the patient before depressing the button.

defibrillator pads

Likewise, a trained paramedic can choose to override the AED device should they deem it appropriate to do so at the moment of use.

Fully automatic defibrillators do not allow for second-guessing and so may be of use in first aid situations where the operator does not want the responsibility of depressing the shock button manually.

The choice is yours

At Four Square Healthcare, we stock a range of AED defibrillators – both fully- and semi-automatic models. We also offer a variety of essential accessories including defibrillator pads.

All Four Square Healthcare products are available to purchase online, benefiting from fast delivery times across the UK, and free postage for orders over £75.00. Additionally, any NHS-funded GP surgery, NHS Hospital or Trust, or UK Police Force automatically qualifies for a 30-day credit account.