Defibrillator User Survey

I received a copy of an interesting survey by Leflein Associates, of about 150 Paramedics and 150 EMT’s (sponsored by Zoll). It reveals a lot about EMS provider’s attitudes regarding the current consent degree under which Physio Control is producing defibrillators. Under the terms of the current consent decree, if you want to buy a Physio-Control defibrillator you must sign a letter which:

  1. Describes “…the nature and immediacy…” of your need, and
  2. Certifying that you “…have previously standardized on Physio Control defibrillators…” and
  3. “…Need the Physio Control defibrillators to provide adequate emergency care to patients…”

Some of the key findings in the Leflein Associates report include:


  • 60% of those surveyed agree that the consent decree will affect the ability of EMS agencies that use Physio-Control products to deliver proper pre-hospital care. This includes 56% of those who currently use a Physio product.
  • 56% of those surveyed think EMS Agencies that use Physio-Control should switch to another brand as a result of the consent decree. Among current Physio owners, 45% agree.
  • Only 36% of EMTs and Paramedics were aware of the consent decree before this survey. There was a higher awareness (50%)  among those planning to purchase Physio-Control next. 
  • Respondents ranked reliability (92%), durability (85%) and functionality (80%) as the most important factors in an AED or Manual ALS External Defibrillator.
  • Things like price (36%), previous experience with the brand (36%) and brand reputation (38%) rank lowest.
  • But curiously, when those who were planning to purchase their next defibrillator from Physio-Control were asked why – their responses largely reflected the brands cost, reputation, and their previous experience.

For a pdf of this report, just send me your request and I’ll reply with a copy attached. Most of the big companies do these kinds of consumers’ surveys all the time. This one, while no more objective than most of its type – is still very interesting.

To me it says there is a big disconnect between what we say we do, and why we really do it. Even the most carefully considered equipment-purchasing decisions are still largely driven by emotion. In other words, the feelings still count a lot more than the facts. This is not necessarily bad thing, but it certainly is a human thing.

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About Dan White

I'm a retired Paramedic and EMS Instructor with 35 years EMS and emergency medical product experience. I love canoes, cars and EMS. I write about EMS Technology on the Paramedic Blog, the Insights on Innovation column for EMS1.com, on AmbulanceWorld.com and Multibriefs.com. I work for Intersurgical, Inc. managing EMS sales and distribution. I can be reached directly at 573-240-0002. Follow me @Paradan on Twitter
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