Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) help save lives. So, it's crucial to ensure you have a functioning AED on hand. That's why it's always recommended to check your AEDs regularly. If you see the following signs during your checks, it's important to get your AED replaced as soon as possible.
1. Device Malfunction
All AEDs are subject to wear and tear. The device will be used to resuscitate patients, and it will be under constant strain. The device may need to be replaced if any of the following issues have been identified:
- The device doesn't power on.
- The device is no longer sufficiently charged.
- The device isn't stored in a proper environment (i.e. not storing your AED at the proper temperature).
- There is another damage to the device, such as physical or liquid damage.
2. Expired AED Batteries
Most AEDs will have four to five years of battery life. The expiration date is indicated on the label of your device. If the expiration date has been reached, this indicates that the device is no longer functioning as intended. To ensure the device is working, it’s vital to check the batteries every year.
3. Expired AED Pads
Some AEDs will have a set of pads that are pre-installed, while others have the pads that have to be replaced. If your pads have expired, it’s crucial to replace them immediately. Improperly or expired pads can affect the effectiveness of the AED. The pads will often have an expiration date. If the pads are not installed correctly, it can also cause the AED not to function properly. If the pads are expired, it's important to replace them as soon as possible.
4. Frequent Need for Servicing
When an AED is working correctly, it’s important to ensure you’re servicing it properly. Annual servicing is the recommended interval. However, if the AED is required more frequently than that, it’s a good indication that it’s time for a replacement.
5. Physical Damage
If there is any physical damage to the device, it’s time to replace it. Physical damage might be caused by improper storage, such as keeping it on a flat surface without being properly packed. It’s important to understand how to properly transport and store your AED in a protective bag.
6. Device Has Been Discontinued
If you have purchased an AED made by a manufacturer that no longer has that model in their catalogue, you may want to consider replacing the device. Even if the device is fully functional, it’s important for it to have the latest updates available.
AEDs are vital tools in any health facility. It helps preserve life, so it's important that it’s working correctly. It's important to check regularly to ensure that the device is working as intended. If you're unsure about whether or not you need to replace the device, speak with your AED supplier. They should be able to help you make a decision based on your equipment and protocol.
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