AED Maintenance Requirements & Checklist

March 18, 2021 | Last Updated: September 08, 2021
aed-maintaining

While the user manual for any electronic device is likely to have recommendations for maintenance, these recommendations are especially important for a lifesaving Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Given that all makes and models of AEDs require varying degrees of ongoing maintenance (some are simpler to maintain than others), it’s important that you understand what’s required of you as an AED owner.

But before we get into the details of how to maintain each AED model, let’s discuss why you should care about proper AED maintenance in the first place.

Why is Maintenance of an AED so Important?

The short answer: so your AED is ready to save a life!

Unlike most products, AEDs may be unused for long periods of time before they are needed during an emergency. And, when an AED needs to be used, it is usually during a life-or-death situation that happens suddenly and without warning!

If an AED isn’t properly maintained, the consequences can be tragic. Without receiving ongoing maintenance, AEDs may not be working correctly or their disposable parts (like electrode pads and batteries) may expire. As a result, someone could die when they could have otherwise been saved by the AED.

Listen to Kevin share the close call he experienced when an AED arrived at his side without electrode pads!

Imagine how terrible this situation would be: you bring an AED to a victim of cardiac arrest and then the device doesn’t turn on because the battery is dead.

If you were the owner of that AED and responsible for it, how would you feel? Not only might you feel terrible and guilty about the tragic situation, but you may also be rightly concerned about your exposure to liability due to negligence.

AED maintenance is also important to protect against liability

How is AED maintenance related to legal liability and risk management?

Well, strong AED Good Samaritan laws exist in all 50 states to help encourage people, businesses, and organizations to buy AEDs. While these laws offer AED owners and users strong indemnity protections, a common provision in laws from state-to-state is that the AED must be managed and maintained per the manufacturer’s guidelines in order for these strong protections to offer coverage.

Here’s an excerpt from California’s AED Good Samaritan law:
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“Grants certain protections from civil liability for lay rescuers who use an AED as long as the use and placement of the AED is compliant with 1797.196 of the Health and Safety Code. §1797.196 of the Health and Safety Code requires the AED be maintained and tested according to manufacturer guidelines, and records be maintained of maintenance and use…”

Civil Code 1714.21

Health and Safety Code §1797.190, and §1797.196 (AB 2041, Ch. 718, 2002) (AB 2083, Chaptered 85, 2006) (SB 685, Chaptered , 2015)

As you can see, AED maintenance isn’t just a good practice and the right thing to do, it’s also a requirement!

To earn the valuable protection of Good Samaritan laws, you simply need to follow the maintenance requirements for your device per the manufacturer’s guidelines, and document that you’re doing so. If you don’t adhere to these requirements or have proof of compliance, you might not be able to benefit from the legal protections offered.

Over the years, there have been several lawsuits where AED owners didn’t properly follow the maintenance requirements, and, thus, their units weren’t functioning properly when they were needed the most.

With proper AED maintenance being explicitly included in state laws across the country, it should be evident that adhering to ongoing maintenance requirements, and documenting compliance, is an important part of AED ownership. Good maintenance not only helps provide protection against liability; it can also help you resolve problems with the manufacturer if your device is not performing as guaranteed.

AED maintenance helps owners address device issues with the manufacturer

What happens if your AED’s battery dies before the manufacturer-guaranteed useful life?

Let’s say you call the manufacturer to ask them to ship you a new battery. The first thing they will likely require you to do is show that you maintained the device properly during your ownership. If proper maintenance has not been performed in accordance with their recommendations, or if documentation is not available, you may experience resistance from the manufacturer to absorb the financial burden of the device issue.

Alternatively, if there’s a warranty issue for your device, the AED manufacturer might ask for a log or records of your maintenance efforts as proof that you followed their guidance.

How do you Maintain an AED?

One of the biggest challenges with maintaining an AED is that there isn’t a standard maintenance protocol for all devices. Maintenance requirements and processes vary from one AED model to another. Not to mention, the maintenance requirements can often be time-consuming, expensive, and burdensome. As we share below, one AED unit on the market requires owners to visually inspect the device…EVERY DAY!

Use the summary of maintenance requirements and resources provided below to either:

  • Ensure you fully understand how to properly maintain the AEDs you already own, OR
  • Better inform your decision of which AED model to purchase (remember, simpler and less burdensome maintenance requirements are generally better)

Summary of AED Maintenance Requirements for Each Model:

Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3 Plus
Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 AED

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:
https://www.cardiacscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/70-00914-01_F_Operator_and_Service_Manual_G3Plus.pdf

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:
According to the Cardiac Science G3 AED Operator and Service Manual, section 5-4, AED owners should perform daily, monthly, and annual maintenance of their AEDs.

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:
According to the Cardiac Science G3 AED Operator and Service Manual, section 5-4, AED owners should perform daily, monthly, and annual maintenance of their AEDs.

On a daily basis, owners should “Check the Status Indicator to ensure that it is GREEN. When the indicator is GREEN, the AED is ready for a rescue. If the indicator is RED, refer to the troubleshooting table on page 5-3.”

Monthly, AED owners should perform a 6-step test.

Annually, two tests are required (a 12-step test and a 7-step test).

Visual Indicators & Audible Prompts:
For a summary of visual indicators and audible prompts on the AED, reference section 3-2 through 3-4 in the Cardiac Science G3 AED Operator and Service Manual.

For a summary of visual indicators related to troubleshooting the AED, reference section 5-3 in the Cardiac Science G3 AED Operator and Service Manual.

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

According to the Cardiac Science G5 User’s Guide, section 6-1, AED owners should “Periodically”:

  • Check the color of the Rescue Ready® indicator.
  • Check that the battery has adequate charge to perform a rescue: (by opening the AED’s lid to check the battery level)
  • Check that the voice prompts work and the display is readable (by performing a 5-step process)
  • Check that the defibrillation pads are ready for use and that the service beep sounds (by performing an 11-step process)
  • Check that the LEDs work.
  • Check that the buttons work.
  • Check the AED case for signs of stress.

Visual Indicators & Audible Prompts:

For a summary of visual indicators related to troubleshooting the AED, reference section 5-2 in the Cardiac Science G5 AED User’s Guide.

For a summary of the AED’s audible prompts related to maintenance of the device, reference sections 5-3 and 5-4 in the Cardiac Science G5 AED User’s Guide.

Defibtech Lifeline and Lifeline AUTO AED
Defibtech Lifeline AED & Defibtech Lifeline View AED

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:

The Defibtech Lifeline AED’s User Manual can be found at
https://www.defibtech.com/site/assets/files/2018/dac-510e-en-bg-ddu-100-user-manual-v3_2-earlier-us.pdf
and the Defibtech Lifeline View AED’s User manual can be found at
https://www.defibtech.com/site/assets/files/1998/dac-a2510en-bj-ddu-2450-user-manual-us.pdf

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:

The Defibtech Lifeline AED’s User Manual can be found at
https://www.defibtech.com/site/assets/files/2018/dac-510e-en-bg-ddu-100-user-manual-v3_2-earlier-us.pdf

and the Defibtech Lifeline View AED’s User manual can be found at
https://www.defibtech.com/site/assets/files/1998/dac-a2510en-bj-ddu-2450-user-manual-us.pdf

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

The Defibtech Lifeline and Defibtech Lifeline View AEDs recommend flexible maintenance schedules. Per Section 5, page 30 of the Defibtech Lifeline User Manual and Section 5, page 29 of the Defibtech Lifeline View User Manual:

“The DDU-100 AED is designed to be very low maintenance. Simple maintenance tasks are recommended to be performed regularly by the owner/operator to ensure its dependability (see sample maintenance table below). Different maintenance intervals may be appropriate depending on the environment where the AED is deployed, and ultimately the maintenance program is at the discretion of the emergency response program’s medical director.”

Summary-of-Maintenance-Requirements

Source: Defibtech Lifeline AED User Manual, https://www.defibtech.com/site/assets/files/2018/dac-510e-en-bg-ddu-100-user-manual-v3_2-earlier-us.pdf”

Visual Indicators & Audible Prompts:

For a summary of some of the maintenance related visual indicators and audible prompts on the Defibtech Lifeline AED, reference Section 5.2.1, pages 30 and 31, in the Defibtech Lifeline AED User Manual.

For a summary of some of the maintenance related visual indicators and audible prompts on the Defibtech Lifeline View AED, reference Section 5.2, pages 29 and 30, in the Defibtech Lifeline View AED User Manual.

HeartSine Samaritan 350P/360P AED
HeartSine SAM 350P and SAM 360P AEDs

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:

The HeartSine SAM 350P & 360P AED’s User Manual:
https://heartsine.com/wp-content/uploads/manuals/H032-019-614-1_350_360_450_User_Ed4_US_0420_web.pdf

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

According to the HeartSine SAM 350P & SAM 360P User Manual, it is recommended that “users perform regular maintenance checks,” which includes:

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:

The HeartSine SAM 350P & 360P AED’s User Manual:
https://heartsine.com/wp-content/uploads/manuals/H032-019-614-1_350_360_450_User_Ed4_US_0420_web.pdf

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

According to the HeartSine SAM 350P & SAM 360P User Manual, it is recommended that “users perform regular maintenance checks,” which includes:

Weekly:

  • Check the “Status Indicator”

Monthly:

  • Check for any signs of physical damage
  • Check the expiration date of the Pad-Pak (electrode pads)
  • Check for audible warning messages by powering on the unit.

Additionally, the User Manual notes: “HeartSine devices cannot be tested using industry-standard simulators and manikins. Therefore, to test the heartsine Samaritan PAD with a simulator or manikin, contact HeartSine Technologies or your Authorized Distributor for assistance.”

Visual Indicators & Audible Prompts:
For a summary of visual indicators and audible prompts related to troubleshooting the AED, reference Appendix B in the HeartSine SAM 350P & SAM 360P User Manual.

Physio-Control LIFEPAK® CR2 AED
PhysioControl LIFEPAK CR2 AED

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:

The PhysioControl LIFEPAK CR2 AED’s Operating Instructions:
https://www.physio-control.com/uploadedFiles/Physio85/Contents/Workplace_and_Community/Products/3321515-028.pdf

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

According to Section 7, page 79, of the PhysioControl LIFEPAK CR2 AED User Manual, “Device readiness should be verified at least once each month.”

The CR2 AED can come in two configurations: Wireless Access and Without Wireless Access

For CR2 AEDs with Wireless Access, the User Manual states:

“The device performs automatic self-tests daily, weekly, monthly, and every time you turn it on. If the automatic tests are successful, the device checks in to LIFELINKcentral AED Program Manager or LIFENET System once each month and reports that it is READY.”

“If an automatic self-test detects a condition that requires attention, the device immediately reports the issue to LIFELINKcentral AED Program Manager or LIFENET System and an email notification is sent to your organization’s designated person.”

For CR2 AEDs Without Wireless Access, the User Manual states:

“If the device does not have wireless capability or is unable to automatically connect to LIFELINKcentral AED Program Manager or LIFENET System (i.e. no internal connection is available where the device is located), you should check the Readiness Indicator on the device at least once each month.”

If the CR2 AED indicates that it is not ready, the User Manual describes the multi-step process of how to identify the specific cause of the device’s failure.

Visual Indicators & Audible Prompts:

For a summary of audible prompts related to maintenance of the AED, reference Appendix C, page 103, in the PhysioControl CR2 AED User Manual.

ZOLL AED Plus
ZOLL AED Plus

AED Manufacturer’s Resource:

The ZOLL AED PLUS Administrator’s Guide can be found at
https://www.zoll.com/-/media/public-site/products/aed-plus/9650-0301-06-sf_d.ashx

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

On page 22, the ZOLL AED PLUS Administrator’s Guide states that owners should “inspect frequently, as necessary.”

The ZOLL AED PLUS maintenance checklist also includes:

  • “Check for the green check showing that the AED Plus is ready to use.
  • Verify that electrodes are within their expiration date.
  • Verify that batteries are within their expiration date.
  • Verify that electrodes are pre-connected to the input connector.
  • Verify that supplies are available for use (razor, mask, gloves, extra batteries.)”

Below is a checklist from page 22 on the User Manual that ZOLL recommends AED Plus owners use when periodically checking their device:

maintenance-checklist

Source: ZOLL AED PLUS Administrator’s Guide, https://www.zoll.com/-/media/public-site/products/aed-plus/9650-0301-06-sf_d.ashx

It’s worth noting that the ZOLL AED PLUS maintenance checklist indicates a step to “Turn the AED Plus on and off and verify the green check indicates ready for use.”

Troubleshooting:
For a summary of common error indications on the AED Plus and their associated corrective action, reference page 22 in the ZOLL AED PLUS Administrator’s Guide.

ZOLL AED 3
ZOLL AED 3

Summary of Maintenance Requirements:

According to Chapter 3 of the ZOLL AED 3 Administrator’s Guide, the device, “automatically performs functional testing during periodic self tests.”

In addition, the Guide also notes that:

  • If all self tests passed, the AED 3’s status indicator displays a green check to show that the AED is ready to use
  • If the status indicator is blank following completion of any self-test, the AED 3 is not ready for use and may be defective. If this occurs, reference, “Chapter 4 Troubleshooting” on page 29 of the Administrator’s Guide to help determine the problem.

The Administrator’s Guide also mentions that, “if configured, the AED can automatically transfer self-test information over Wi-Fi to the ZOLL PlusTrac AED program management system…”

Finally, on page 24 of the Administrator’s Guide, it’s stated that the following is a, “physical inspection of the ZOLL AED 3 defibrillator that you should perform periodically.”

physical-inspection
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