Maintenance Checklist: How to look after your defibrillator

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So, you’ve made the potentially life-saving investment of purchasing a defibrillator for your workplace? Awesome! Congratulations on becoming a heart safe location.

Now, what to do next?

Many people are unaware that defibrillators, as skilled and technologically advanced as they are, do indeed require a helping hand from time to time to ensure it’s always functioning as it should. Various topics can fall under the term ‘AED maintenance’, so we’re here to share with you the essentials so you know exactly how to look after your life-saving device.

Expiration Dates

Batteries and electrode pads ensure that your defibrillator is rescue ready at all times. Electrode pads create the connection between the patient and the device and the battery provides the device with the power to deliver a defibrillation shock.

The purpose of a defibrillator is to actually shock the heart to a halt, allowing the body’s natural pacemaker to restart the heart in a regular rhythm.  Without help from electrode pads and a fully-charged battery, life-saving treatment cannot be delivered.

As electrode pads are single-use only and both pads and batteries have expiration dates, it is up to the user to keep tabs on when replacements will be required. The newest AEDs on the market, such as the LIFEPAK CR2 and the ZOLL AED 3 come with software which will report when the consumables need to be replaced; you can also register any defibrillator with defibshop to be included in our free reminder service, which will alert you when your pads and battery are due to expire.

The shelf life of both these consumables vary, but the majority of them span over years, meaning if they are not used, are still sealed and in-date, they can be used in a rescue. We do recommend considering investing in a spare set of pads and an extra battery, to ensure you’re always prepared and able to take action should a cardiac arrest take place.

Safe Storage

After purchasing your defibrillator, have you given it any thought as to where you’re going to store the device?

Maybe at the front desk, in the hall or another favourite of many... in the box that it came in! This last option, however, is not recommended. It is vital that your defibrillator is kept in a central and easily accessible location to allow for quick retrieval in the event of a cardiac emergency.

When it comes to storage options for AEDs, the term ‘spoilt for choice’ definitely comes to mind. No matter where you intend on storing your device, there is something that will fit your location and keep your AED safe ready to be used in an emergency.

Various storage solutions provide AED owners with a variety of features which enhance the safety of AEDs. A simple starting point for storage could be a wall bracket. Your AED simply slots onto the bracket and will remain there, strapped in place until required. These perhaps allow the quickest retrieval out of all the storage options for AEDs as there are no doors, lids or codes to be entered or opened, they’re a simple grab-and-go option.

When storing your AED outdoors, to protect the device against the elements something more robust than that of a wall bracket will be required. Outdoor cabinets are usually green in colour and come with the universal ‘AED’ symbol on the front so bystanders can easily identify the cabinet’s contents. These are the cabinets that include features such as:

  • Strobes – to alert bystanders in the area to the cardiac emergency and prompt further assistance
  • Coded entry – to ensure maximum protection of your device
  • Heating – ensures the device is kept at an optimum temperature to allow for treatment at any time.

Free Reminder Service

Here at defibshop, we realise that AED maintenance may seem like a burden, but hopefully, we can put your mind at rest.

Our free electrode pad and battery expiration reminder service will ensure that you’re alerted in enough time to replace your consumables.

By doing this you can rest assured that your AED will always be ready to be used at a moment’s notice and help save a life in a cardiac emergency.

Just let us know the expiration dates and we’ll do all the rest.

Easily Maintained

Defibrillator maintenance is key to ensuring your AED can be used in the event of a cardiac emergency. Without in-date consumables, it cannot be used.

How do you keep on top of your AED? Is there a designated person in your office who’s responsible for your life-saving device? Or maybe you have an alarm which lets you know when to repurchase your vital accessories? Whatever your system, if it works – we want to hear about it! Share your knowledge with us over on twitter @defibshop.

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