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AED IP Rating Explained: What Does IP Code Tell About AEDs

AED IP Rating Explained: What Does IP Code Tell About AEDs

by | Mar 18, 2021

Whether an AED is at the gym, with a school athletic trainer, or in the back of a police cruiser, it is very likely to get jostled around and experience some physical stress. Mobile AED units, which are advisably brought to different locations where they may be needed most, are vulnerable to wear and tear.

You want an AED that can endure some physical stress because otherwise, you’re limited with how you can use and store the device. When choosing which AED to buy, make sure you pick a device that is designed to handle all use and storage environments that are relevant to you!

“We have our AED in a backpack. We toss it in the back of the golf cart and go! It has to be ready for the elements, like the rain, because we take it everywhere.”

-Tara Grubbs Head Athletic Trainer Pearce High School

The most universal measurement used to compare AED resilience to the elements is the AED IP Rating.

“IP” stands for ingress protection. So an “IP Rating” can help you determine how protected your AED is from elements getting into the device, which can potentially cause damage and/or make the device not work as intended. IP Ratings are displayed with two numbers, for example, IP 54.

  • The first number, “5,” rates the level of protection the AED has against intrusion from solids, like dust
  • The second number, “4,” rates the level of protection the AED has against intrusion from moisture, like water

The higher each number is for an AED, the more protected the device is to either solid particles such as dust or moisture such as water. As such, an IP Rating of 54 is more resilient to dust than an IP Rating of 24.

Keep in mind that IP Ratings have nothing to do with how well an AED can withstand a drop or the stress induced by vibration. All AEDs must meet the same drop and shock standards in order to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

IP Ratings are calculated in a lab by independent, specifically-certified groups. There are several tests used to evaluate and properly assign the IP Rating for an AED. For example,

  • For the first number (solids), to earn a rating of 2, the AED must demonstrate that it’s only protected from damage by fingers or objects that are of similar size. But, to earn a rating of 5, the AED must demonstrate that it’s protected from some exposure to dust, as long as it’s not exposed to a large quantity.
  • For the second number (moisture), to earn a rating of 2, the AED only needs to demonstrate that it’s protected against dripping water for a defined period of time. But to earn a rating of 5, the AED has to show much more durability and that it’s protected from water jets for a defined period of time.

AED IP Ratings Chart

You might be wondering, “if I’m buying an AED for my business, why does the AED IP Rating matter to me? After all, my office is indoors.”

The reality is that cardiac arrest is unpredictable. Sudden cardiac arrest rarely happens when and where we expect it to occur. Given this unpredictability, it’s not safe to assume that the emergency will happen in a controlled environment such as an office. The AED you choose to purchase should be just as ready to help someone outside of your office (such as your building’s parking lot), even if the device is stored indoors.

After thinking through how “protected” your AED needs to be from the elements, it’s also important to consider the different levels of maintenance required for the AED units on the market today.

 

FAQ

Which AED has the highest IP Rating?

The HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P and HeartSine samaritan PAD 450P are the AEDs with the highest IP rating – with a rating of 56.

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