"Buying an AED is more than placing an order on the internet."

Creating and Maintaining a

Public Access Defibrillation Program

Our FREE 6 step video series will show you how.

Public Access Defibrillation Overview: The Essential Information

Public Access Defibrillation Site Assessment: AED Placement

Public Access Defibrillation Select: Choose the best AED

Public Access Defibrillation Schedule: AED Training

Public Access Defibrillation  Secure: Medical Oversight

Public Access Defibrillation Set-up: AED Maintainance

Public Access Defibrillation Start Tracking: AED Program Management

AED Maintenance

The fifth step of the Cardiac Life Public Access Defibrillation Program is AED Maintenance.

Maintaining your AED is the most important part of owning an AED. If you’ve made the initial investment in having an AED program, the worst scenario would be that you go to use it, and it doesn’t work for you. To be sure your AED is working; there are key things that you are looking for. Most AEDS have an indicator to let you know that the AED is good to go. Other considerations are: Check that the AED is still where you keep it, check that the AED has the needed electrodes and batteries and that none of the components have expired.

You will want to know when the pads and electrodes and batteries are going to expire, so you’re able to purchase the replacements ahead of time, that way you have them and you’re never without an AED that can provide a life-saving shock. Most AED manufacturers recommend that you have 2 sets of adult electrodes with your AED. If you do need to use the AED, you then have a second set of electrodes so the AED is ready to be used again; immediately following a rescue, so you’re never without. Some manufacturers recommend that you have a spare battery as well.

Part of the maintenance is not only checking the AED, but ensuring that the internal software has been upgraded. Many AEDs have built in CPR prompts and the metronome guide that talks you through CPR treatment. As the CPR guidelines have changed over the years, the internal software needs to be upgraded to ensure that it’s in alignment with those requirements. You want to check and make sure that it is being done as the CPR guideline changes are made.

You also want to check the Rescue Ready Kit on a monthly basis, to be sure the components are fresh to use in a rescue. Most AEDs come with a Rescue Ready Kit, which is a small zippered pouch. It comes with all the simple things you need, like a mask with a one-way valve, scissor, shavers, and gloves. This mask can get sticky over time and really yucky, so that needs to be checked regularly, as part of the maintenance. Cardiac Life gives each person who is taking their CPR training class, a mask that can be attached to their keychain for emergency use.

You want to inspect the AED, you want to inspect the Rescue Ready Kit, and you want to inspect your cabinet and carry case. I mentioned earlier, that when you open the AED wall cabinet, the door the alarm should go off. The alarm is typically run on one or two 9V batteries, similar to the smoke detectors in your home. So you want to check on that, to make sure it’s working. You want to inspect the signage around the building. Over time, there can be deterioration of the signs, or unfortunately sometimes there’s vandalism. You want to be aware of this and be checking on it.

Performing drills is part of the maintenance as well. Setting up a drill periodically and having documentation that you are doing all of the maintenance, is really going to be helpful for you. Most of the manufacturers have indemnification policies that will indemnify the owner and the responder. You want to have documentation that you are following their recommended guidelines. Each of them has specific guidelines as to what you should be doing regularly to maintain your AED. Again, part of the program is that maintenance is being done. It doesn’t have to be done by you, but it needs to be done by someone and there should be documentation that it’s being done.

There are also services available, where you can have a completely hands-off approach and hire out to have somebody else take care of your AED for you fully, so you don’t have to worry about it. You can have the utmost confidence that it is going to be in rescue ready condition when you go to use it.