Facility Managers or those responsible for AED management often have a lot of questions associated with inspecting and maintaining their device. This blog will explore some of the common questions asked and give you the answers you're looking for:
What Does AED Stand For?
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. It is the public access device used to help treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)
Do AED Machines Expire?
While the devices themselves do not technically expire, it is generally accepted that AEDs will last for approximately 10-years if maintained and updated properly. However, the batteries and electrode pads required for use do expire. The life of the batteries and electrode pads depend on the brand, but the lifespan of most batteries is 1-5 years.
How Often Should a Defibrillator Be Serviced?
AEDs are fairly self-sufficient and require little ongoing care, but manufacturers strongly recommend monthly routine inspections to ensure that the device and all of its components are working properly and prepared for an emergency situation.
How Often Do AED Pads Need To Be Replaced?
Electrode pads can last anywhere from 1 - 5 years based on the type of device you have. All pads should have an expiration date clearly indicated on the outside of the packaging. You should never use or reuse opened pads. The adhesive gel will dry when exposed and not adhere to the chest preventing the delivery of the much-needed shock.
Does an AED Require Maintenance?
Aside from routine inspections and replacement of expiring consumable items AEDs do not require much attention. Manufacturers may recommend additional maintenance such as cleaning or examining connections, but most devices are designed to remain untouched until needed in a rescue.
When Should an AED Be Used?
AEDs are very easy to use and local requirements may indicate the need for expected users to be trained in the use of an AED and CPR. Training helps you to identify the proper use for an AED but generally speaking if you witness or find someone unresponsive and not breathing you should immediately call 911 and start CPR. If there is an AED nearby have someone get it and follow the prompts when turned on as soon as it arrives.
Can a Defibrillator Be Used More Than Once?
During a SCA event, the AED may advise more than one shock on the same victim. Remember to follow the instructions and continue to perform CPR until EMS arrives. It is never recommended to use the same electrode pads on a second victim but AEDs can and will provide additional shocks for more than one victim given that you have a backup set of electrode pads available. Once used, the event data should be retrieved from the device and provided to the appropriate agencies or treating physician as requested. After the data is removed and new pads provided your device may be used again.
Are Defibrillators Mandatory In The Workplace?
Some businesses are required by law to have AEDs. These work environments can include fitness centers, pools, dental offices, athletic stadiums, airports or other large places of public gathering but also may be required for new construction and government buildings. Be sure to check your local and state laws to familiarize yourself with what is required for your organization.
Do You Have To Be Certified To Use An AED?
Some states do require expected users to receive CPR/AED training by a Nationally Accredited provider. Although it is not always a requirement in every state it is highly recommended that you have at least one trained responder on each shift available if needed for every AED.
Do I Need To Register My AED?
Registering your AED is often one of the requirements for owning your device. However, even if it is not required it is a great practice to notify your local EMS / 911 agency of the location and type of device you have. Often times, in an emergency the 911 operator may have access to AED information and be able to assist in directing bystanders to its location and use during the event.