An AED, or automatic external defibrillator, is a life-saving device that can be used in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. When used correctly, they can save lives. However, in order for them to work properly, it is important to maintain and store them properly. So, how do you ensure that your AEDs are properly stored and maintained so that when they are needed (and we hope they aren't ever needed), they are quickly accessible and work as expected? Here's what you should keep in mind:
How Do I Properly Store AEDs?
When it comes to AEDs, proper storage is key to ensuring that the device is ready for use in an emergency. Here are three tips for properly storing your AED:
1. Make It Accessible
Always make sure that the path to access an AED is never obstructed. This means keeping the storage area clear at all times, regardless of what's going on. For example, if you are running an event or undergoing construction, it should always be made clear that the AED is visible and accessible at any time.
2. Ensure the Staff Knows Its Location
Too often, someone is in cardiac arrest, and AED is required, but the staff doesn't know where it is stored. As you may be aware, time is of the essence, and every second wasted is a drop in the chances of survival. So, make sure all your staff is made aware of each AEDs’ location.
3. Do Not Lock It Away
It can be tempting to lock away AEDs because they're so expensive. However, what happens when it is needed? Not only is trying to unlock it wasting time, but without the right person with the right key or lock combo in their mind to access it, the AED remains inaccessible. So, ensure that they're easily accessed at all times.
How Do I Maintain My AEDs?
Maintenance is vital to ensure your AEDs are always in good working condition. Here are some tips to help you properly maintain your AEDs:
1. Check the AED Regularly
At a minimum, you should check the AED every month to make sure it is powered on and functioning properly. If any problem is noticed, get it repaired or replaced immediately.
2. Keep the AED Clean
Wipe down the AED with a damp cloth on a regular basis to remove any dirt or debris. This ensures they're in good shape and that they won't run into problems.
3. Replace the Batteries Regularly
Most AEDs use disposable batteries that need to be replaced every two years. So, if your AED batteries are nearing that two-year span, get their batteries replaced.
4. Replace the Pads Regularly
AED pads are designed to be used once and then discarded, and most manufacturers recommend replacing the pads every four years. So, if you've used an AED or it is nearing the end of its life, get them replaced.
5. Get Them Serviced Regularly
AEDs should be serviced by a qualified technician every two years. This ensures that any hidden problems are properly identified and addressed, keeping them functional and reliable.
All in all, if you don't have AEDs in your organisation yet, be sure to invest in them. They're there to save lives, and should someone experience sudden cardiac arrest in your vicinity, they stand a chance of survival. So, make sure to stock up on them! And, if you do have them, by following these tips, you can help ensure that your AED is always ready to use in the event of an emergency.
Restart The Heart offers trusted defibrillator supplies in Australia, offering AED pads and batteries for every brand. If you are running AED maintenance and are in need of supplies, check out what we offer!