An automated external defibrillator (AED) is essential whether at home, in transit, or in a commercial setting. If you are not familiar with it, AED is a lifesaving device that can treat victims who suffered sudden cardiac arrest. This device is user-friendly, making it easy to manage even if one has no previous training in using it.
When you have one at home, in the car, or in the office, you can feel at ease knowing you are ready when emergencies occur. However, before you completely relax, you also need to ensure that its battery is still in good condition. Keep in mind that emergency care will not be possible when its battery goes bad.
How to Know When to Replace Your AED Battery
AEDs use lithium batteries, specifically lithium manganese dioxide. These batteries are reliable and have a long shelf life. The typical shelf life of the battery is about ten years before it deteriorates.
When choosing a lithium battery, you need to look into its specific gravity. It is what determines if it is okay to be used or not. If the particular lithium battery you have has a specific gravity of 1.16 or higher, it is still in good condition. However, if it has a specific gravity of 1.17 or lower, you need to replace it immediately.
These are some other signs that you need to replace your AED battery:
- It is longer effective in pushing out the current on the pads
- The device is malfunctioning, even in the charge mode
- It fails to power up
- It fails to read the pads
How to Check the AED Battery Expiration Date
Knowing the battery expiration date is crucial since it indicates whether or not the device will perform poorly. When the battery is already expired, it can no longer hold a charge. Without a charge, the device will not respond to electrical impulses. That will make your AED useless when you need it most.
These devices' batteries come with clear labels with an expiry date in most cases. If you cannot find one, contact your AED supplier or physician to get the expiration date of your AED battery.
Make sure you have a way to contact the supplier or physician at all times.
When to Replace the Battery
Each AED comes with an instruction on how to replace its battery. You must follow it exactly to avoid damaging the device. The manufacturer will also specify the life span of its battery. That means it already has a planned schedule of when to replace it.
For example, if the AED comes with an expected battery life of four years, you need to change its battery after four years. In some cases, the battery is designed for use for ten years. Then you need to replace it after on or before the said date.
How to Replace Your AED Battery
- Turn off the AED. Unplug the power cord and remove the battery.
- Unscrew the screws that secure the battery compartment. One is in the battery door, and the other inside the compartment. Using a screwdriver, remove the battery door. Pull out the old battery.
- Clean the battery compartment by wiping off any dirt or residue on it. Make sure to dry it afterwards.
- Install the new battery inside the compartment. Make sure that the poles do not touch each other.
- Put back the battery compartment and the battery door
- Plug the AED back in and turn it on.
- Do a test run to ensure that the AED is still in good condition.
AEDs are lifesaving devices. Before it saves anyone's life, you need to ensure that its battery is in good condition. If you fail to replace it immediately, you will be putting yourself and others in danger. If you know when to replace an AED battery and how to do it, you are ready to use the device when someone is in cardiac arrest. Having one in the office, at home, or in your car is a great way to save lives.
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