AED Maintenance

Checking and looking after your AED

Most Advisory External Defibrillators (AED's) have in built checking programs that run, daily, weekly and monthly. There is therefore little or no need for detailed routine checks to be made to the unit unless local policy determines this, such as a Hospital Trust where their EME department insists on running initial and routine checks on all such equipment.

The internal checking procedures vary depending on the make and model of AED so this guidance is general and for detailed information you should refer to you operation manual.

Generally the circuitry and the battery level are checked and on some models with pre connected electrodes the pad conductivity is checked. The results of these tests are normally stored within the unit and any anomalies are reported by a bleeping sound, a ready light changing colour, a narrative box, a screen on the unit, a verbal command or a combination of several of these prompts.

It is preferable for an AED to be stored in a suitable bag or carry case with all the necessary accessories so that in the event of an emergency everything that is required to prepare and defibrillate a patient is kept together and arrives at the same time. The additional items you should consider are;
1. Spare set of electrodes
2. Tuff cut scissors
3. Razor
4. High absorbent towel

When checking an AED;
a) Ensure the ready light/indicator is rescue ready
b) Check both the pads and spare pads are in date

This information is given as general guidance only. You should refer to you operating manual and also the practice procedures for your organisation.