You have made the important and potentially life-saving decision to buy an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for your organisation and have placed it in a suitable, accessible location. You have also ensured there are adequately trained responders, ready to provide CPR and use the AED should somebody in your organisation suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. Job done, right? Wrong!
Although AED’s require very little maintenance, it is vital to ensure they are checked regularly. This will ensure that any self-tests have been passed, the battery and pads are in good condition and that any consumables required are in place. The best method of doing this is design a checklist and use this every week to ensure a methodical inspection of your defibrillator. Some important questions to cover during inspection are:
- Is the location of the AED still considered suitable?
- Is the status indicator OK (Green flashing light, an ‘OK’ symbol or similar) This ensures self-tests have been passed.
- Is the battery past its expiry date?
- Have the pads/ electrodes past their expiry date?
- Is the packaging containing the pads intact?
- Are there spare pads available?
- Is there paediatric pads or key available (if required)?
- Are cables, screens, exterior casing in good condition?
- Are consumables (CPR mask, scissors, razor) in place?
- Are there adequately trained responders available?
It is a good idea to designate somebody to check the AED at the same time every week and to sign and date the checklist when done.
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