Installing your Philips AED is a good first step toward providing life-saving treatment in the case of sudden cardiac arrest; however, it’s also essential to maintain your defibrillator correctly. Diligent AED maintenance will keep the device in good working condition and will also optimize the shelf life of the device.
Having an AED, or automated external defibrillator, nearby when a cardiac emergency happens means that even a person with no medical training can help to keep the patient stable until emergency responders arrive on the scene. Good AED maintenance is an important part of providing effective emergency care and could ultimately be the factor that saves a victim’s life.
How to Check Your Philips Defibrillator
Maintaining your Philips AED device, such as the Philips HeartStart Onsite defibrillator or Philips HeartStart FRx defibrillator, is a simple but crucial task that is necessary to ensure that your AED is in good working order if an emergency occurs. AED survival rates can be as high as 74% for patients with ventricular fibrillation when using CPR and a defibrillator, a statistic that highlights the necessity of keeping your device in good working order.
1. Check the Status Indicator on your AED: Is It Blinking Green?
The status indicator is located above the green power button on your device. The status indicator should be blinking green to show the AED has passed its self-test and is ready for use.
What Does It Mean if the Status Light on My AED Is Off?
If the status light is off, it isn’t making a chirping noise, and the blue i-button isn’t flashing, the device isn’t ready for use. These are a few possible causes:
- The battery hasn’t been inserted.
- The battery is dead.
- The AED needs urgent repair.
If the status indicator light is off, buttons are flashing, or the device is emitting single or triple chirps, an error has occurred that may require attention.
What Does It Mean if the Status Light Is Solid Green?
If the status light is green but not blinking, the device is performing a self-test or is in use. Check again later to see if the green light is flashing.
2. Check the Date On Your Pads
You can clearly see the “Use Before Date” on your pads by checking under the clear cover. Remember to check the expiration date on any replacement pads you have too; you will find this on the sticker on the front of the package. It’s important to order replacement pads if the current pads will expire soon or have already expired.
3. Check the Expiration Date on Your Battery
Check the date the battery was installed, keeping in mind that the “Install Before Date” isn’t the same as the expiration date. Philips batteries typically last for four years starting from the date they are installed, but the battery lasts around five years from the date the battery was manufactured. Recording the date the battery was installed will help you keep tabs on exactly how long the battery has been in use (and when it will need to be replaced).
4. Check the Date on Your Spare Battery
It’s wise to keep a spare battery. If you have one, check its “Install By date” which you can find on the outside of the battery. You will need to order a new replacement battery if the Install By Date has already passed.
5. Check the Contents of Your First Responder Kit
All of our AEDs—including our Philips AEDs—come with a First Responder Kit, which should have the following contents at all times:
- 1 x pocket mask with a one-way valve
- 1 x set of gloves: The kit should be equipped with one set, but more than one is ideal.
- 1 x pair of scissors
- 1 x razor: A razor is needed for shaving an especially hairy chest.
- 1 x absorbent gauze or towelettes
If your kit is missing any of these items, replace the missing item(s) as soon as possible.
6. Record Each Inspection on Your AED Inspection Tag
Each of our Philips AEDs comes with an inspection tag that allows you to keep a record of all the inspections you make. There is also space for recording the dates when your pads and batteries will expire.
Keeping clear records will help you identify when pieces need replacing, ensuring a fully functioning device that is ready to use in the case of an SCA emergency.
Why Should You Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks?
According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, an estimated 15% of cardiac arrests in adults happen in a public setting, meaning that a significant number of people could be saved if there is a properly maintained AED nearby. The goal of having an AED is to save a life, and regular maintenance is essential for avoiding potentially tragic consequences.
Additionally, some states have AED laws requiring AEDs for certain facility types, like schools, gyms, and public buildings. When required, the proper upkeep of the defibrillator(s) is generally also a legal requirement. Ensuring device readiness as per the manufacturer’s instructions could protect your company from liability if a sudden cardiac arrest were to occur in your facility.
Routine Inspections of Medical Devices Help to Ensure Device-Readiness in Emergency Situations
Though investing in an automated external defibrillator is a responsible safety step for all sorts of businesses and facilities, Philips AEDs—like other kinds of AEDs—are only effective with regular maintenance. A portable defibrillator requires regular battery and status checks and you must take swift action if problems are found with the device.
If you have a large organization, signing up for AED program management can help your organization manage the required AED maintenance tasks much more easily, helping you ensure that your defibrillators are rescue-ready while you focus your attention on your day-to-day work.