The manufacturer has built upon the core technologies of the G3 to create a new range of AEDs, the Powerheart G5. As with the G3, the G5 is available in both automatic and semi-automatic versions, the difference between them being that, when necessary, the former will automatically deliver the shock, whereas the latter requires the emergency responder to administer the shock if so instructed by the audio-visual prompt. RescueCoach™ (fitted in the G3 Plus model and standard across the G5 range) features user-paced audio prompts which guide the responder through each critical step of a rescue, while the text prompts provide extra help in noisy and chaotic environments.
Among the enhanced features of the G5 is the timing of the fully automatic shock delivery, which is typically within 10 seconds following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In respect of CPR, which in an emergency may well have to be undertaken by a lay person with no prior knowledge of first-aid techniques, another innovation in the G5 is the optional CPR device, which comes pre-attached to the adult defibrillator pads. This gives real-time guidance and feedback to the rescuer in administering CPR as recommended by the 2010 Resuscitation Guidelines, specifically concerning the rate and depth of compressions. In respect of paediatric capability, the G5 has paediatric prompts; as with the G3, the paediatric defibrillation pads are designed for infants or children up to eight years old, or 25 kg / 55 lb in weight, and can be used with any Powerheart AED, which automatically detects the pads and delivers a reduced energy shock. All Powerheart G5 defibrillator pads are non-polarized, i.e. they can be placed in either position.
Other innovative technical features of the G5 include a dual language facility, which can potentially enable more responders; switching from one to the other (selected languages available) is simply accomplished by the push of a button. In respect of advanced patient care, as well as delivering a post-CPR shock in as little as 10 seconds as standard, the G5 is customisable in respect of voice prompts, CPR settings and shock protocols, via the dedicated AED Manager software. This means that the AED can be tailored to the user’s needs and preferences, as well as enabling settings to be easily updated should Resuscitation Guidelines change. In respect of event documentation, the capacity of the internal memory is 90 minutes of rescue data (30 minutes more than the G3 Plus), with multiple rescue functionality (i.e. more than one event can be recorded).
In respect of its physical features, the G5 is lighter than the G3 (2.5 kg / 5.5 lb as opposed to 3.1 kg / 6.6 lb) including battery and pads, and meets rigorous military standards for shock, vibration and drop testing. It also has high ingress protection (IP55) against dust and water, which means that it can be deployed across a range of challenging environments. A comprehensive range of accessories is available, including AED wall cabinets / storage sleeves and carry cases. Of particular importance is the G5 Ready Kit, which includes gloves, razor, scissors, towel, gauze and a CPR mask to ensure that everything necessary for safe and efficient first aid is to hand.
Finally, and bearing in mind the need for a timely response to suspected sudden cardiac arrest (SSCA), it is important to note that, like the G3, the G5 features patented Rescue Ready® technology, which ensures that the AED self-checks all main components on a daily basis (battery, electrical circuitry, software, and defibrillation pads presence / function); completes a partial charge of the high-voltage electronics on a weekly basis; and charges the high-voltage electronics to full energy on a monthly basis. If any fault is detected, an audio-visual alert is issued as a prompt for the user to service the unit. This regime should ensure that the device is always fit for purpose in an emergency.