Knowing how to change an AED battery and also when to change it are just as important for protecting life as the initial purchase of a portable defibrillator. Battery problems are among the top causes of AED failure but are fortunately some of the easiest to prevent.
Checking the battery’s expiration date and having a new battery on hand are crucial steps to the effective functioning of your AED. In many states, routine inspections (including the battery expiry date) are legally required. Here, we explain how to change the battery in our top AED models because it’s the battery power that ultimately saves lives.
How to Change Philips AED Batteries
Take the following steps to change the batteries in the FRx and Onsite models. Both of these models use the same battery, the M5070a. Be aware that the four-year lifespan of this battery is calculated from the installation date, so you must write down the date you insert the battery.
Philips HeartStart Onsite and Philips HeartStart FRx
Both Philips AED defibrillators feature easy-swap batteries. Click the release tab on the battery to lift it out of the battery compartment. Replace with the new battery and write down the installation date.
How to Change a ZOLL AED Battery
The batteries required for specific ZOLL defibrillators are different. Never try to recharge a non-rechargeable battery as it can explode.
ZOLL AED Plus
- Push a 10-cent coin into each of the two slots on the reverse of the machine and lift the back cover to expose the batteries.
- Remove the batteries.
- With the handle of the AED facing away from you, insert the new batteries. Insert the batteries from top to bottom, starting with the left side, and then the right side. Finally, insert the two middle batteries.
- The AED should then start a self-check. This unit uses audio prompts to tell you what to do next.
- Follow the prompts. It should tell you to press the blue button to confirm new batteries.
- Replace the cover and turn the AED over. Check for a green check mark (green tick).
How to Change a LIFEPAK CR2 AED Battery
The LIFEPAK CR2 uses a four-year non-rechargeable AED battery that is easily replaced:
- Turn the device upside-down.
- Use the pull tab to lift the battery out.
- Replace the battery, pushing it down until you hear a click.
- Wait two minutes for the unit to perform a self-check.
- Ensure that the Readiness indicator light is flashing green.
How to Change a Cardiac Science AED Battery
Instructions for the PowerHeart G5 and PowerHeart G3/G3 Pro are slightly different. Check which model you have before changing the batteries.
The PowerHeart G5 battery is located on the back of the AED. Pull the tab to release the existing battery. To insert the new battery, slot the PowerHeart G5 replacement battery in and push down until it clicks.
Turn the AED over to check that the Rescue Ready light is green. This can take up to 30 seconds.
How to Change a HeartSine AED Battery
Unlike other models, the HeartSine Samaritan range combines the pads and battery in a single cartridge. This means you don’t need to track the expiration dates separately. The Adult Pad-Pak and Pediatric Pad-Pak are compatible with all three Samaritan models.
To replace the cartridge:
- Press down on the tabs on either side of the existing Pad-Pak.
- Remove the existing Pad-Pak from the compartment by sliding it out. Dispose of it safely.
- Make a note of the expiration date of the new Pad-Pak. This is written on the front of the cartridge.
- Slide the new cartridge flat-side down into the compartment until it clicks.
- Look for the flashing green light to ensure the device is ready to go.
How to Change a Defibtech AED Battery
Defibtech Lifeline defibrillators are unique in that they require two separate batteries. A standard 9-volt battery is needed to power the unit’s self-checks. Though the defibrillator itself works without this battery, it won’t self-check without a 9-volt battery.
To change the main battery, turn the device onto its side and press the eject button. A battery chamber containing the old battery will pop out. Take out the old battery, replace it with the new one, and push it in until it clicks.
The device should then give you audio prompts confirming that the device is ready to use. Defibtech batteries vary from model to model so be sure that you know which model you have before purchasing a replacement battery.
How to Know an AED Battery Needs to Be Replaced
An AED’s official battery life depends on the manufacturer and model. Typically, batteries last between two and seven years after the date of manufacture or installation. However, you may need to replace your battery before this date. Replace the battery if you note any of the following signs:
- The AED beeps.
- The AED fails its self-check.
- The AED signals a failing status with a red light or mark.
- The AED lacks power.
Kim et al. (2022) noted the importance of communities paying due attention to AED maintenance so public-access automated external defibrillators are ready to use in the case of an emergency. An increase in AEDs in the public domain isn’t enough to save lives. Each device must also be duly maintained and accessible 24 hours a day.
Additional Things to Know
A study focusing on cardiac arrest response in Minnesota reported that the average EMS response time was 8-10 minutes. This is too long for many patients. Having a ready-to-use AED on hand therefore can improve patients’ survival rates. Keep the following information in mind to get the best use from your external defibrillator:
Reset the AED After You Replace the Batteries (If Required)
Once you’ve replaced the battery or batteries, you may need to press a reset button. In the ZOLL AED Plus, this is located in the battery compartment. After pressing the reset button, check the status indicator to make sure your AED is ready to use.
Keep Spare Batteries on Hand
Keeping at least one spare battery with your defibrillator is critical for the safe running of your AED. Batteries have a long shelf life and the expiration dates should be clearly stated. However, several factors can compromise battery life:
- Using an AED consumes a huge amount of energy and this can deplete the battery. The battery must be replaced after every use.
- Batteries stored improperly or exposed to light, moisture, or extreme temperatures can lose their effectiveness.
Having new batteries on hand is also recommended because:
- You can take the AED with you even in remote locations, safe in the knowledge that you have a spare battery.
- It gives you a backup if another battery malfunctions.
After using the defibrillator, have a professional evaluate your AED and its battery to ensure it’s ready for another emergency. If you sign up for AED Program Management, we’ll inspect and restock your AED for you after each event.
Batteries Aren’t Universal
It’s possible to buy the wrong battery. Apart from being a waste of money, inserting the wrong battery can affect the functioning of your AED. Trying to use the wrong battery can result in:
- The AED malfunctioning due to the battery not providing the necessary power
- Damaging the AED and voiding its warranty
Make sure you use the batteries recommended by the manufacturer to avoid a malfunction or voiding the warranty.
Dispose of Your Used Batteries Safely
The proper disposal of batteries is a safety and environmental concern. The chemical components contained in certain types of batteries can make them dangerous if thrown in the trash.
Local waste management authorities or recycling centers will have ways to recycle or dispose of batteries safely. Pad-and-battery cartridges should also be taken for recycling.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
To ensure the safe use of your AED, read the manual that comes with your unit carefully. Knowing how to treat the batteries is essential for their correct functioning and also for keeping the warranty valid.
Though purchasing an AED is a great first step, proper care and maintenance are just as important. Follow the instructions carefully so that your defibrillator will be ready for use in a cardiac emergency.