A Guide to AED Maintenance and Proper Care

If you've ever laid eyes on an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), you know it's not a device to be taken lightly. These life-saving gadgets can quite literally be the difference between life and death in emergency situations. But like any high-tech piece of equipment, they require regular maintenance and proper care to ensure they're ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. 

That’s why, in this guide, we're diving headfirst into the world of AED upkeep. From the basics, like replacing batteries and electrode pads, to more complex tasks, like running self-tests and confirming operational readiness, we'll walk you through it all. 

We'll also navigate the legal requirements and recommended guidelines for AED upkeep, ensuring you're not only providing the best possible care for your device, but also staying on the right side of the law. Let's dive in and demystify AED maintenance, shall we?

Essential Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Routines

AEDs require regular care and attention to ensure they remain in optimal working condition. Implementing the following basic care routines can help maintain their reliability:

  1. Daily visual inspections: Check your AED daily for any signs of damage, tampering or missing components. Ensure it is easily accessible and that any accompanying signage is clear and visible.
  1. Weekly verifications: Verify that the status indicator light is green (or as specified by the manufacturer), confirming the device is ready for use. If the light indicates an issue, consult your user manual or contact the AED manufacturer for assistance.
  1. Monthly checks: Perform a more thorough inspection and cleaning once a month. Wipe away any accumulated dust, dirt or debris, and check the integrity of the AED pads and batteries.
  1. Proper storage: Store the AED in a temperature-controlled environment, away from direct sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. If available, utilise an AED storage cabinet to maintain visibility and protect the device from external factors.

AED Battery Maintenance

Ensuring Longevity and Reliability

Regularly checking and replacing AED batteries is crucial for maintaining device reliability. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Understand battery lifespan: Familiarise yourself with the expected lifespan of your AED's batteries, either by checking the manufacturer's guidelines or consulting the device's user manual.
  1. Monitor battery indicators: Pay close attention to your AED's battery life indicators during routine inspections, looking for any warning signs that the battery may be depleting or in need of replacement.
  1. Replace batteries as needed: Batteries typically have an expiration date printed on them, and it is crucial to replace them promptly if they are expired or near expiration. Maintain a battery replacement schedule to ensure you are never caught off-guard with a depleted battery.
  1. Store spare batteries: Keep a spare set of batteries onsite and readily available should your AED require an immediate battery replacement.

AED Pad Maintenance

Monitoring and Replacing Pads for Optimal Performance

Pads are another vital component of AEDs, and proper maintenance is essential for the device to work effectively. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Check expiration dates: AED pads have expiration dates, usually ranging from 18 months to 3 years. Regularly inspect the dates and replace expired pads promptly to ensure efficacy during an emergency.
  1. Inspect pad integrity: During your inspections, examine the pads for any visible damage, leaks or detachment from the backing. Damaged pads may not adhere properly to an SCA victim and could compromise the AED's effectiveness.
  1. Store additional pads: In case the need for multiple AED uses arises or your primary pads become damaged, ensure you have a spare set of pre-connected pads available.
  1. Provide correct pad types: If your AED is located in an environment where both adult and paediatric SCA cases may occur (e.g., schools or childcare centres) ensure you have both adult and paediatric pads.

Documentation and Compliance

Maintaining Accurate AED Records

To help maintain compliance and ensure thorough care, keep track of your AED maintenance and staff training records. This documentation should include:

  1. Inspection records: Log all regular AED inspections, noting any issues found and the resolutions undertaken.
  1. Battery and pad replacement records: Document key details of AED pad and battery maintenance, including expiration dates, replacement dates, and any related incidents.
  1. Staff training records: Retain up-to-date records of staff AED training, making note of the date, certification provider, and any expirations or renewals.
  1. Emergency use documentation: After any AED use, document the event carefully, outlining the date, time, users, and outcome. This record may be required for legal or insurance purposes.

Restart the Heart Support and Maintenance Services

Expert AED Care and Compliance Assistance

Restart the Heart offers a range of AED maintenance services and expert support to help organisations keep their devices compliant and well-maintained:

  1. AED maintenance plans: Partner with Restart the Heart for comprehensive maintenance plans, providing regular inspections and equipment checks to ensure the device remains in peak condition.
  1. Training and certification: Take advantage of Restart the Heart's training courses, equipping your staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to care for and operate the AED confidently during an emergency.
  1. Expert guidance and support: Rely on Restart the Heart for expert advice on AED care, compliance and support, ensuring your organisation is well prepared for SCA emergencies.

Understanding the Basics of AED Maintenance and Proper Care

Remember, an AED is only as good as its maintenance. So, let's not underestimate the power of these small, often unnoticed devices. Let's respect their presence, maintain them diligently, and ensure they're always ready for action. After all, you never know when an emergency might strike, and having a well-maintained AED could be the deciding factor in saving a life.

Ensure your life-saving equipment is reliable and compliant with expert AED maintenance and support from Restart the Heart. Contact our knowledgeable team today to explore our wide range of the best defibrillator supplies and protect your investment in this essential technology!