AEDs are an important piece of rescue equipment that can improve the survival of cardiac events. It’s important for you to review and maintain your AED equipment each year. Here’s what you need to know.
AEDs have components that have expiration dates. To keep the AED in good working order, components with expiration dates need to be replaced to ensure the device works optimally when it is needed.
An AED battery has an average lifespan of 4 years. Battery lifespan is dependent on proper storage, frequency of use, and exposure to excessive heat or cold. When a battery starts to fail, it will emit a chirping sound that indicates the battery needs to be replaced. Each battery also includes an “Install Before” date. When the date is met, the battery should be replaced.
As of 2022, batteries may be reimbursable through Deanery funds. When a battery is three years old, the recommendation is to create a budget line item to replace the battery in the fourth year of the battery’s life. File deanery granta request for those funds one year in advance of the replacement.
AED pads also have expiration dates. The expiration date is found on the pad packaging, shown in the black circle. The pads are typically available from the same supplier as the batteries. The white box below shows the pad type that is compatible with the AED at the church. If the pads are expired, they can be used only if no other pads are available. The device may not ‘read’ the heart rhythm accurately if the pads do not make good contact with the person’s skin, so replace pads before they expire, and order replacement pads immediately after they are used.
AEDs do not require regular discharge testing the way hospital medical equipment does. That said, regular inspection of the device is a very good practice.
What to look for:
- The device is dry, without signs of water or vermin damage.
- The device does not show signs of damage like cracks or dents that indicate the device has been dropped.
- The pads are present, connected, and in date.
- The battery pack is installed and is in-date.
What to do if:
- The battery is chirping or is out of date.
- Order a replacement battery as soon as possible.
- Leave the old battery in the device until the new battery has arrived.
- Properly dispose of the old battery.
- Do NOT put the old battery in the trash.
- Do NOT put the old battery in the recycling.
- Home Depot will recycle the battery (verify they still do this before taking the old battery to the store).
- If you are not able to find a disposal location, call your local Fire Department and ask for a recommendation on how to correctly dispose of the old battery.
- If the device has gotten water damaged take the device out of service immediately, and remove the battery from the device.
- If the device’s case is cracked or damaged, particularly if internal components are visible, take the device out of service immediately, and remove the battery from the device.
- AEDs may not be serviceable and may require replacement if they are damaged by water, or the case is cracked. Reach out to your Fire Department/EMTs to have the device checked and if the device is no longer usable, replace the AED.
Supply Vender Information:
AED Superstore (1-800- 938-5306) | Website: https://www.aedsuperstore.com/
Vicky Anderson is the Deacon at Trinity Episcopal Church in Independence Missouri. Before becoming a deacon, Vicky was an RN and Parish Nurse.