An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable defibrillation device that allows bystanders to carry out an instant rescue for out-of-hospital patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Unlike other medical devices, AED is used infrequently and may not even be used for a long period of time, so it is not easy to detect its potential problems immediately. Furthermore, SCA always occurs without any warning, and when a patient with SCA collapses nearby, the situation will immediately become critical, considering that the rescue must race against time. If the AED device suddenly fails in this life-or-death situation, the survival rate of SCA patients will be greatly reduced.
Therefore, as important equipment for advanced life support, AED devices need to be regularly checked and maintained to keep in optimal condition and be ready for SCA rescue at all times. Regular AED maintenance and inspection by AED managers or owners facilitate predictive maintenance of the machines and reduce the risk of the best rescue time loss.
Since the management of AED equipment is so important for the survival of SCA patients, what should AED managers or owners check during AED maintenance?
AED Maintenance Checklist for Manual Inspection
AED maintenance is a time-consuming and costly task, especially when managing multiple AEDs because you have to check the devices one by one, and AED maintenance requirements vary by device model. It requires AED maintenance checking numerous tedious items, causing one of the biggest challenges for AED maintenance. Nevertheless, if you have a general AED maintenance checklist to check one by one according to the list, your AED maintenance work will be twice as easy! The following questions are considered in the general AED maintenance checklist.
- Is the AED being obvious and unobstructed?
Given the urgency of the situation, the AED device should be placed in a conspicuous location so that responders can find it immediately. Therefore, when performing AED maintenance, assess whether the AED equipment is conspicuous enough and exclude the possibility of being obstructed by other objects.
- Check the AED box for signs of stress, cracks, and firm installation.
The AED box is a perfect solution to protect public AEDs placed in public places from damage. It is usually in bright color installed on the wall. When performing AED maintenance work, the AED box should be carefully inspected for cosmetic integrity, signs of stress, cracks, and there is a need to assess the possibility of dropping.
- Does the AED alarms properly?
When an AED box with an AED device is turned on, the alarm light flashes, which helps the arriving EMS to locate the patient, thereby, it is important to check to see if the AED alarm system is working properly.
- Check the status/service indicator light to ensure the proper function of the AED.
When the appearance of the AED equipment is showing normal, you have to move to check the internal condition of the device. Check the status indicator light of the machine to assess whether the basic function of the AED device is normal. Usually, the green indicator shows a machine in good condition; otherwise, screen out the problems to get the right remedy.
- Check the pictorial instructions and audio-video prompts.
Voice and picture indication function is the basic function of AED as an intelligent and user-friendly life-saving device, which is related to whether the responders can successfully carry out a rescue. Therefore, when performing AED maintenance work, you should regularly check for the normal voice and visual picture indication function of the AED device.
- Check whether the accessories are complete and in good condition.
An AED kit includes not only the machine itself but also some necessary accessories, such as disposable batteries used to provide electrical power to the machine and disposable AED pads as the shock delivery medium. During a routine inspection of AED equipment, the AED pads or batteries should be inspected for use or breakage, or they should be replaced with new ones.
AED Maintenance Checklist for AED Management Software
Regular manual inspection and maintenance based on a generic AED maintenance checklist only guarantee the intact appearance and basic functions of the machine. For a systematic inspection, AED managers need to ensure that the AED equipment has self-test function and Internet-based connection. Internet-based AED connected to the AED management software provided by the AED manufacturer can automatically synchronize the daily self-test reports of the device itself. Therefore, it is conducive to helping AED managers carry out more systematic and efficient online maintenance.
AED maintenance requirements based on AED management software vary by AED brand though, you still need an AED maintenance checklist for an efficient maintenance. So let us take the AED equipment and AED Alert System of Mindray, one of the world’s leading AED manufacturers, as an example to reveal what should be checked with AED management software when performing AED maintenance.
- Check self-test reports and log reviews of the device.
By checking the self-test reports and log reviews of AED devices in bulk, AED managers are able to know the status information and locate the faulty device quickly. It also reports the internal problems that cannot be checked manually. In addition, Mindray’s AED management software can be connected to all models of its AED equipment, enabling online viewing of each device’s self-test report, network connection status, etc.
- Check the historical alarm and operation data.
Mindray Alert System allows AED managers to view historical alarms and operational data for each AED device in order to quickly and accurately determine problems in the use of the device and perform timely predictive maintenance.
- Check the geographic location.
AED management software to check whether the geographic location of the AED device has changed helps managers determine the real-time status of the AED device. If the AED device is moved out of its intended geographic location, the Mindray Alert System will immediately alert the manager.
- Checking the life cycle of accessories.
When conducting a manual review, AED replacement pads and AED batteries cannot be disassembled for inspection because AED equipment accessories are disposable and have a shelf life. However, the Mindray Alarm System allows managers to view the life cycle of accessories and battery capacity online so that expired or poor-quality accessories can be replaced on time.
AED maintenance is a task that every AED manager and owner must undertake because it is essential for a smooth out-of-hospital SCA rescue. According to the AED maintenance checklist, AED managers should conduct regular manual inspections of the appearance of each AED device. For a more systematic and efficient AED maintenance, choosing an AED management software like Mindray Alert System, which has no limit to the number of AED devices involved, for real-time and comprehensive online AED maintenance of all devices will help further improve the quality of AED maintenance and the chance of survival of out-of-hospital SCA.