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Defibrillator Maintenance

June 11, 2022

Defibrillator Maintenance

A cardiac arrest emergency is never the time to discover a broken or malfunctioning AED.

Defibrillator maintenance is crucial. With the survival rate of cardiac arrest below 10%, we know the importance of having defibrillators in all places where we live, work, and play. Every second counts during a cardiac arrest and defibrillators need to be regularly monitored and maintained to ensure it is ready for action at any time.

While most AEDs carry out self-checks usually on a weekly basis and will alert you to any faults they find relating to the status of the battery and electrode pads, software, and electrics, it is still critical to visually inspect your defibrillator regularly.

The readiness indicators change when the defibrillator fails its self-test. Readiness indicators differ depending on the device. It is either a green or red disk, a tick or a cross, or a flashing light. You should refer to the manual to determine the device's indicator. If this changes, the defibrillator unit requires attention.

One reason for self-test failure is expired accessories. Without in-date accessories, your AED unit is not available for use during an emergency.

Electrode pads that have been used require immediate replacement. Expired batteries should be replaced in line with their expiration date, usually 3 to 5 years, and in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Visual inspections should be performed monthly and include:

  • The status readiness indicator displays a green flashing light or green tick.
  • Unit and accessories are free from damage, dirt, and contamination.
  • Batteries have not passed the expiration date.
  • Electrode pads have not passed their expiration date and are sealed in their original package.
  • Supporting accessories such as safety razor, shears, and resuscitation masks are sealed and within the expiration date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any rules about who can own an AED?2022-06-11T17:40:20+10:00

Anyone can own an AED. For help selecting the right one for your business or organisation, please contact our team.

Do I need to train my employees?2022-05-09T22:39:30+10:00

While AEDs can be used without any prior experience, it is strongly recommended that all staff are trained in CPR and AED.

Do pads and batteries have a shelf life?2022-05-09T22:41:45+10:00

Yes, both pads and batteries expire and will need replacing. It is common for them to have a shelf-life which is the amount of time they can be stored without being used. Batteries also have a ‘standby life’ which is the amount of time they can be used once installed. This varies depending on the manufacturer. Batteries will typically power a defibrillator for between 4-5 years.

Electrode pads are disposable, single-use items and cannot be reused. They may be stored for some time before use and their ‘shelf life’ ranges from 2-4 years. When the shelf life or standby life has expired, replacement AED pads or replacement defibrillator batteries will need to be purchased.

Can the electrode pads be re-used?2022-06-11T17:57:41+10:00

No. you will need to purchase replacement pads after each use. View our range of defibrillator pads, batteries and accessories which can be purchased online.

When do I use an AED?2022-01-24T02:35:18+11:00

An AED should be used for all who are unresponsive and not breathing normally. Chest compressions should be commenced immediately and the AED applied as soon as it becomes available.

Who can use an AED?2022-01-24T02:35:44+11:00

The Australian Resuscitation Council state that anyone can use an AED and that it should not be restricted to trained personnel.

Who should have a defibrillator?2022-01-24T02:36:30+11:00

While not a legal requirement in Australia, it is recommended that the installation and use of AEDs should at least be considered by all workplaces.

Is there a danger to myself or others whilst using an AED?2022-01-24T02:37:04+11:00

Although AEDs are extremely safe, rescuers should take care not to touch the person during a shock delivery. There are no reports of harm to rescuers from attempting defibrillation in wet environments.

Can an AED be used on a pregnant women?2022-01-24T02:37:50+11:00

Yes. An AED can and should be used on pregnant women who are in cardiac arrest.

Can you use an AED on someone who has a pacemaker?2022-01-24T02:38:27+11:00

Yes. An AED can be used on a person with a pacemaker. When applying the pads, ensure that the pad is placed slightly away from the pacemaker.

Where should the defibrillator be placed in the workplace?2022-06-11T17:45:57+10:00

Similar to fire extinguishers, defibrillators should not be locked away in a cupboard and should be easily accessible to everyone. Place your AED in visible, accessible places. Choose locations that increase the chances of getting the AED to the person having a sudden cardiac arrest in less than 3 minutes.

Conducting a site assessment of your workplace should be the first step when determining where to place your defibrillator. A site assessment offers your best glimpse into response times during an actual emergency situation. Time is critical when sudden cardiac arrest happens.

Start by identifying any “high risk” areas such as workspaces where there is a risk of electric shock or asphyxiation, any areas where health compromised individuals are present on a regular basis, or where there is a high volume of people.

Never place a defibrillator in offices or areas which may be locked while there are still workers in the building. Defibrillators should be accessible to all personnel at all times. Select an accessible and visible location and install clear signage.

CPR for Life can help you determine how many AEDs are recommended for your organisation and where to place them. If you would like one of our team members to contact you, click here and submit an enquiry or call us on 1300 316 551.

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