Having an AED at your business or other facility is rapidly becoming the norm, but do you understand AED maintenance requirements? For many people this means hanging the AED on a wall after purchase and forgetting about it until it starts beeping, or lights start flashing a warning that something isn’t right with the AED. But grabbing the AED in a life-threatening situation and finding that it doesn’t work can have devastating consequences.
Not only could this result in the loss of a life, but it may show negligence by the owner, if regular inspection and servicing is not performed and documented.
Not all problems with AEDs result in the beeping or flashing lights. In fact there have been a number of cases where a rescuer went to use their AED and the AED itself would not work. That’s why some AEDs need to have a spare battery as a backup. It may only be sold with one battery, but if you check the User Manual, you may find a recommendation to have a spare.
How Often Does an AED Need to Be Checked?
For the owners of the AED, there is an implied duty to maintain their Emergency Equipment in a functional state and as recommended by the manufacturer. Failure to do this could result in legal action, but more importantly, it could result in serious harm to a person or even the loss of life. When you first receive your AED, you’ll read the user manual’s usage steps, but many owners neglect to read the AED maintenance requirements, often an appendix to the manual, which will tell you how often your AED needs to be checked and maintained.
Just like having your fire extinguishers inspected annually, it is advisable to read the maintenance requirements section of the manual and have your AED serviced annually. It isn’t just the batteries and electrode pads that are expiring that you should be thinking of. Performing periodic thorough testing of software and right down to the function of the shock button provides an assurance that your AED is rescue-ready.
AED Software Must Be Updated
AEDs are very complex medical devices controlled by an internal computer running specific software. Some manufacturers regularly update their AED software and will provide updates to AED users at no charge. For some AEDs, software needs to be updated by purchasing additional computer programs, special cables or other hardware, and in at least one AED, the AED must be returned to the manufacturer for update.
Software updates can correct problems in AED Programming, but they also can be refinements in the detection of shockable heart rhythms, and use of power by the AED. These updates can also be helpful in extending the life of an AED and it components.
Choose an AED that’s Easy to Maintain
When choosing an AED, find one that is easily upgraded (preferably at no charge to the owner), like the Defibtech line of AEDs. If you’d like to buy an AED in Canada, visit the Mediquest.ca AED shop and browse our AEDs.
In addition to recommending Defibtech AEDs for their ease of use and free software updates, MediQuest has a Health Canada Tracking System that monitors service intervals and advises customers in advance of their AED needing any service or component replaced. The MediQuest AED Tracking System also provides a means of customer contact in the event of an AED recall by Health Canada or the manufacturer.
If you have questions about your AED or are considering purchasing an AED for your business or organization, please contact our customer service professional responders who will be pleased to help you make a wise decision.