AED with a Dead Battery Won’t Save Lives – AED Maintenance Tips
It’s late, and weirdly quiet; the grocery store you’re at is about to close and they’ve just turned off the music. You hope you can get everything on your shopping list before the store closes. The only other shopper in the store is at the end of the aisle. “Thank goodness,” you think, “at least I’m not the only one here.” As you’re hastily wheeling your cart down the frozen aisle, the other shopper collapses. You’re startled and terrified. Thankfully, you’ve been educated and trained on what to do in a situation like this.
“Help! Help! I need an AED!”
You dial 911 and begin frantically removing clothes from this unconscious woman hoping that someone has heard your cry for help. As you run to the end of the aisle to see if anyone is around, a grocer bumps into you, AED in hand. With trembling hands, you stick the pads onto the woman’s chest. You press the power button on the AED. Nothing happens. You press it again. “Why isn’t this working?”
Common Problems with AEDs
AED Battery is Dead
The battery of this AED is dead, significantly increasing the chances that this woman could soon be too. You begin CPR, but you know you need to use the AED to improve her chances of surviving. At this point, all you can do is hope that EMS arrives soon. This grocery store had the tools to save this shopper’s life, but it failed by not ensuring that its AED was functional. The fact of the matter is that dead, but accessible AEDs are very common.
Most AEDs use lithium batteries, which generally have longer lifespans than other types of batteries; however, there is only one AED on the market that has an embedded rechargeable battery that never needs to be replaced. Traditional AEDs need their batteries replaced every two to five years depending on the make and model. Whenever possible, choose an AED with a long battery life, or, better yet, one that never needs to be replaced as some AED batteries can cost up to $500!
Issues with AED Pads
There are immense consequences for not maintaining these lifesaving devices. AEDs, if they are not properly maintained, are likely not going to be functional when you need to use them to save a life. All AEDs have single use electrode pads that are applied to the patient’s bare chest during an emergency rescue attempt. When you purchase any AED, the device will come with at least one set of pads, as the functionality of the device depends on having them. AEDs do have automated self-tests, but if no one is actively maintaining the device and able to respond to a failed self-test, this feature is obsolete. All electrode pads must be replaced upon the use of an AED, and most pads have a shelf-life of 2-5 years. Therefore, every few years, electrode pads must be replaced to keep the device in good working condition.
Whenever possible, it is more cost effective and time efficient during an emergency to use an AED with Universal Electrode Pads, or pads that can be used on both children and adults.
An outdated AED also means that its warranty expires and thus the “indemnity of good faith” expires with it. To avoid third party maintenance costs, many facilities, like this grocery store choose to maintain their AED on their own. Except in this outlined scenario, they didn’t do it. It is essential that AED owners conduct monthly maintenance checks and keep records about the working status of the AED to guarantee their AED is functional.
Monthly AED Maintenance Check By Pelham Fire Department
Pelham Fire Department’s EMS director, Matt Maples and his team have observed this oversight in their city’s AED maintenance. They are planning to take action to replace outdated AEDs, implement new ones, and conduct monthly maintenance checks on them. Not to mention they plan to begin an education and certification program so residents and employees of Pelham have the opportunity to be trained in CPR and AED usage. This is a hefty responsibility that adds to their already busy schedules, but the Pelham Fire Department believes that this is a task they cannot afford to ignore.
AED Maintenance Tips to Keep You and Yours Safe
- Make sure that you have the more recent version of your AED. There are massive advantages in using newer AEDs, as these devices have better technology for quicker and more accurate shock analyses, more handy features, and will be overall more efficient and accessible.
- Refer to your AED manual and make clear the date by which the AED battery and pads must be replaced.
- If you recognize that your batteries or pads are about to expire, order the replacements ahead of time to take into account shipping time. This way when you throw away the expired pads or batteries, your AED will never be out of commission.
- Your AED will most likely have a flashing button on the face of the machine. Make sure that it is green at all times. If the light flashes red, your AED is faulty and needs maintenance.
Avive AED’s EverCharge™ Battery
Avive’s EverCharge Battery is the industry’s only embedded rechargeable battery that never needs to be replaced and is guaranteed to outlive the life of your Avive Connect AED™. Having a rechargeable battery means one less AED disposable to manage and replace every few years.
We invented a fully rechargeable AED battery to prevent against the devestation and hassle that having a dead defibrillator battery can bring, and we’ve made it easy to charge with a USB-C cable in a regular power oulet.
Learn more about the industry’s first and only rechargeable battery.