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Know why and when to replace your AED.
In the US, sudden cardiac arrest kills 475,000 American each year; that is more than lung cancer, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined (American Heart Association).
This is why automated external defibrillator (AED) is so important because it can save thousands of lives. But does having an AED enough for your facility to be considered cardiac-arrest-ready?
There are a lot of factors to consider weather your AED is secured to save a life or is at risk of system failure. Here are the important things to know if you should keep your AED or look for a replacement.
Have you checked the warranty period?
If your device is no longer under warranty, you still need to have it checked regularly to make sure that it is rescue-ready.
To do this, ask your manufacturer or your device distributor for a “call for service” – after-warranty repair service/check-up that is charged based on the hours spent on service and cost of parts if there is need of any.
Also, because manufacturers aim to always improve the usability and design of this life-saving tool, new models arise while the parts for old ones no longer get reproduced. This is when an AED is at ‘End-Of-Life’ determination – the time when manufacturers no longer support that specific model and therefore no new parts will be offered that makes it difficult if maintenance is necessary. One example is the Philips HeartStart FR1 and FR2, which are no longer supported by Philips and its parts can only be purchased from its distributors who have stocks left.
Is your AED in good condition?
Consider getting your AED checked if the following occurred:
- Is your AED still operating?
- Did water penetrate through your device?
- Does your device look physically functional or is experiencing physical damage?
Is your AED too old?
Most AEDs have its manufacturing date at the back of its case. If you think your AED is not experiencing any damage, consider its age because:
- Old AEDs are more likely to face problems compared the new upgraded models which have tough battery life, louder and clearer voice prompts, and improved system updates.
- Old AEDs means more costly parts/repair service because old parts are difficult to find.
This is why these reliable sources advice that an AED should be replaced at the given age:
USA’s War Department/Army Technical Bulletin (TB MED 7) – 8 Years
The American Hospital Association (Released 2004) – 5 Years
Cardio Partners (Licensed training provider for AHA and ARC) – 10 Years
Decided to change your AED? Here is our advice on what you should consider before getting a new unit:
Ask about the warranty period for your new devices. For instance, we at ARASCA provide 8-10 years warranty for our Philips AEDs. It is important to know how much you can maximize the maintenance service of your device so you are worry-free that your AED is ready.
2. TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENT
Improvements you should focus on are:
Ease of maintenance
where an AED sends automatic alert/notification through email or customed contact when its pads or battery needs to be replaced as well as other crucial repair issues that would lessen manual check-ups and save you time and burden.
such as Aircraft compatible AEDs that can stand high altitudes are also a plus factor to look for an AED so you can bring your lifesaving tool anywhere; family vacation or company outing.
User Interface needs to be very easy to understand; clearly detailed voice prompts, visual icons/indicators, and general controls for easy and successful use.
should be lightweight and has a high capacity that can deliver multiple shocks and can operate for a long period of time and has a life span of ideally 5 years for less cost.
to take a look for are; a sturdy case that withstands high drops, such as the Philips HeartStart FRx that endures 4 ft. drop at highly damageable surfaces; water-resistant; dust-protected, and endures high and low temperature since AEDs needs to be everywhere.
such as AED pads should be easy to find and has a long life span since it is the most replaced part of an AED.
Getting a proper training for your AED is essential; some providers, like our Philips Trained After-Sales Team in ARASCA, conduct regular refresher training to make sure the people using the AED never miss nor forget any detail on how to properly operate their AED.
Planning to replace your AED?