Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are lifesaving devices that can make a crucial difference in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. They are designed to provide easy-to-follow instructions and, if necessary, deliver a life-saving shock to restore a normal heart rhythm.
If your workplace has AEDs, it’s essential to understand the components involved, including the batteries and pads, so that you can rest assured your devices are prepared for use at a moment’s notice. Maintaining these components in good working order and identifying when they have expired is required to ensure that your AEDs remain functional. In this blog post, we will explore this important topic and provide tips to keep your AEDs in good working order by identifying when their pads and batteries have expired.
AED batteries power the unit and are responsible for providing the energy needed to produce the necessary electric shock delivered to a person in cardiac arrest. However, AED batteries do have a limited lifespan, and they can indeed expire. Here are some things to consider concerning your AED’s batteries:
- Shelf Life: AED batteries have a shelf life, which means they are designed to remain viable for a specific duration when stored properly. The shelf life varies depending on the manufacturer and the type of battery used in the AED. Common battery types include lithium batteries and non-rechargeable batteries.
- Expiration Dates: AED batteries are typically labeled with an expiration date or a “replace by” date. It is crucial to adhere to this date and replace the battery before it expires. Using an expired battery can lead to the AED not functioning correctly when needed.
- Battery Maintenance: To extend the lifespan of AED batteries, they should be stored in a cool, dry place and checked regularly for signs of dysfunction. Proper maintenance can help ensure that the battery remains functional until its expiration date.
- Battery Replacement: When an AED battery reaches its expiration date or when it is used in a rescue situation, it should be replaced promptly. Most AEDs provide alerts or indicators when the battery needs replacement.
AED pads are attached to the chest of the person in cardiac arrest and are used to conduct electric shocks to restore a normal heart rhythm. Like AED batteries, AED pads also have a limited lifespan. Here’s what you need to know about AED pads:
- Shelf Life: AED pads are designed to remain effective for a specific duration when stored properly. The shelf life of AED pads varies by manufacturer and type but is typically around 2 to 4 years.
- Expiration Dates: Just like AED batteries, AED pads are labeled with expiration dates. Replace expired pads to ensure your AEDs function correctly when needed.
- Proper Storage: AED pads should be stored in a cool, dry place to maintain their effectiveness. Extreme temperatures and humidity can impact the adhesive properties of the pads.
Since AED batteries and pads do expire, it is essential to monitor their expiration dates and replace them accordingly. It is best practice to assign an employee to track the expiration of your AEDs’ components, or entrust maintenance of your AEDs to a professional service. Neglecting to replace expired components can result in the AED not functioning correctly during a cardiac arrest emergency, potentially putting a person’s life at risk.
To ensure that your AED is always ready for action, establish a maintenance schedule that includes regular checks of the batteries and pads. Additionally, make sure that your AED is accessible, visible, and well-maintained in its designated location so that it can be deployed rapidly in case of an emergency. By staying vigilant about AED maintenance, you can maximize the chances of saving lives when it matters most.