World Heart Rhythm Week 2011

Health campaigners are calling for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed in every community to help prevent needless deaths from cardiac arrest.

In the UK alone 100,000 people die each year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, more then breast cancer, lung cancer and aids combined and can strike any one at any time.

World Heart Rhythm Week 2011, that takes place between 6th and 12th June 2011, aims to highlight arrhythmias and in particular, how “Knowing Your Pulse” can save your life.

Arrhythmia Alliance, the heart rhythm charity is raising awareness that heart rhythm problems can be detected by a simple pulse check. An abnormal, fast or slow heart beat can then be followed up by a doctor and appropriate treatment can be given.

All too often the first symptoms of a heart rhythm problem can be a serious collapse or even death. That’s why it’s important to detect an arrhythmia early through pulse checks, so that needless loss of life or serious illness can be prevented.

Arrhythmia Alliance is campaigning for the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed in every community in so that when someone collapses, prompt emergency treatment can be given to save their life.

On May 24th, Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, called for every child in the UK to be taught extended life support, so that when they leave school they are capable of saving a life.

“I want every child, and eventually every adult, in the UK to be able to do the following: recognise an emergency; contact the ambulance service immediately; administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and use an automated defibrillator.”

Helping someone who collapses from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest with a defibrillator and CPR within minutes, is often their only hope of survival. With CPR alone there is just a 5% survival rate but by using a defibrillator the chance of survival is increased by a further 45%. Survival rates drop between 7-10% every minute without defibrillation.

Sources: (original link)


Welch Allyn Trainer not available anymore

Following our report of the Welch Allyn AED 10 being taken out of production ( we have been informed that the Welch Allyn Trainer has suffered a similar fate. The Welch Allyn Trainer cannot be ordered anymore and won’t be on stock.
However, the Welch Allyn AED 10 can still be ordered. Welch Allyn is distributing the remaining European stock, but is not replenishing this stock with newly manufactured units.
Articles for training purposes for the Welch Allyn Trainer, like training electrode pads, can still be ordered for the time being.

Zoll training unit now complies with new reanimation guidelines

Zoll announced that their training unit type II is available again and that this unit complies with the new CPR guidelines.

According to Zoll there haven’t been any changes to the guidelines with regard to spoken instructions. Since the Zoll trainer doesn’t measure the depth of chest compressions, there is no need for an upgrade. For the same reason Zoll announced there won’t be an upgrade for the older type II trainingsunits either.

The first new trainingsunits have been available from the end of April.

Lack of clarity : AED upgrades in line with new 2010 CPR guidelines?

In the past months we have been receiving more and more queries about the question when AEDs of a particular make will be available in accordance with the new guidelines for CPR. We’re also often being asked when the older AEDs can be upgraded. To clarify this situation, we created an overview of the current state of affairs.

Every 5 years new CPR guidelines are issued. Compared to the guidelines of 2005, the new CPR guidelines for 2010 have been changed on a number of aspects. However, the impact of the 2010 guidelines changes is not as significant as the impact of the 2005 guidelines changes were ( compared to the previous CPR  guidelines from 2000)


The following issues are important for AEDs:

The depth and frequency of the chest compressions has been changed, and the guideline emphasizes that the interruptions between compressions should be as short as possible.

With regard to the depth of the chest compressions, this only affects for those AEDs that adjusts the chest compressions giving CPR feedback to the user. Currently, the types of AED involved are only the Zoll AED Plus and the Heartsine PAD 500P.

As for the guidelines stating that the interruption between chest compressions should be as short as possible, this might affect the programming of the AEDs.

After all, the guidelines encourage the manufacturers to evaluate the AED-instructions of their devices and to search for potential improvements, e.g. by altering the sequence of the instructions, or by shortening these. The shorter the instructions, the fewer interruptions of the chest compressions will occur.


The above is not an obliging rule of ERC/NRR, but a recommendation en it is up to the manufacturers to determine whether the AED manual needs to be amended.


As we speak, we have received the following information:


  • Cardiac Science and General Electric: Cardiac Science has declared that the Powerheart G3 AEDs and the G3 responder meet the AHA and ERC2010 guidelines en refer to their AED datasheets.
  • Defibtech: Recently, Defibtech indicated that with its software adjustment the software could be as well adjusted for the new CPR guideline. How the exact differences will turn out , and how this will be handled hasn’t been revealed as of yet.
  • Zoll: Zoll will shortly start with the shipping of the AEDs that meet the new CPR guidelines. The most important change in the new software is the change of CPR feedback. The compressions now have to be at least 5 cm deep, before the AED will approve the compression valid. The depth of compression used to be between 4 and 5 cm. Also, some changes have been made to the instructions in order to shorten the interruption of the chest compression. Zoll also indicated that an upgrade for existing AEDs will be available latest end of 2011. For all AEDs that have been sold after October 3, 2010, this upgrade will be available for free. A comprehensive explanation of the Zoll’s upgrades for 2010 can be found on the following website.



So far, we haven’t been given any concrete information from other AED brands about possible upgrades for their AEDs. We will keep you posted in case we receive further news.

Defibtech announces software correction for Lifeline AED

Defibtech announced it is preparing a software correction for the DDU-1000 Series AEDs with software version 2.004 and older. All in all, these are the AEDs that have been manufactured before mid 2009. The DDU-100 Series AED have been sold in the Netherlands and Belgium as the Defibtech Lifeline AED 9semi-automatic.

Why a software correction?
In some cases it has occurred that the Defibtech Lifeline AED has cancelled a shock. This occurred at the moment that the AED was preparing to load for the defibrillationshock (loading of the condensator). When the AED cancles the shock during use, Defibtech advises to shut off the device (service code 1005). If there is no other AED available the same AED should be turned on and the protocol ought to be continued. From all compiled data, the chance of a Defibtech Lifeline AED that will need a software update, cancelling a shock is lower than 1 in 400.000.

How will the AED be upgraded?
The involved AED units will be provided with a new software through the use of SD cards. This update can be executed easily on location. Awaiting the finalisation of the update, Defibtech advises the end users to keep the current AEDs in service. Owners / caretakers of the involved AEDs will be contacted shortly before the software update will take place.

Latest CPR guidelines ERC and the metronome functionality.
By upgrading the Defibtech Lifeline AED with the new software, the AED will also be adapted in accordance with the latest CPR guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and will also include a metronome functionality. The metronome signals the rhythm for the CPR by means of a tone.

Price increases for the AED market to be expected

Contrary to what was generally expected, it seems highly likely that there will be a price increase for AEDs being sold in the US in the near future. The reason for this increase is a ruling of the FDA, the American Food and Drug administration. The FDA monitors the safety of medical equipment in the US and is renown for its strict policies.

On January 25th, a meeting was held during which it was decided that AEDs will be kept in the highest safety category III. Previously, unlike other medical devices, AEDs were allowed on the market with a so called 510(k) procedure, which normally is applied to class II devices. The FDA will now apply the strict demands for class III device to AEDs. As a consequence this means that the demands for AED manufacturers will be higher. The expectation of the current manufacturers is that costs for both manufacturing and R&D will increase significantly, which will inevitably lead to a price hike.

AEDs that fall under these guidelines are Cardiac Science, CU Medical, Defibtech, Heartsine, Philips, Physio-control (Medtronic) en Zoll.

At this moment it is not clear what the consequences will be of the FDA decision for pricing in the near future that do not fall under the FDA legislation, like Primedic, Schiller and Weinmann.

Production Welch Allyn AED 10 discontinued

We recently learnt that the Welch Allyn AED10 is not being manufactured anymore. As soon as the current stock will be terminated, this type of AED won’t be for sale anymore.
De Welch Allyn AED10 was especially popular with GP practices. Unfortunately, the device had a number of recalls and for a while the production of this AED was halted.
In November 2009 the production started up again, this time in the Zoll plants, instead of the Welch Allyn own plants.

The final production stop didn’t come as a surprise: Last November there were reports of the Welch Allyn AED10  being discontinued on the American Market. At that moment there were no indications that production would be discontinued elsewhere.

Accessories for the Welch Ally AD10 will be available though the usual retail channels.