A portable defibrillator or AED is an essential item of life-saving equipment for many facilities, including medical offices, factories, gyms, shopping centres, offices and sports venues. Early defibrillation significantly increases survival rates for victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which means it’s as important to ensure your AED is capable of working effectively as it is to have an AED in the first place.
Here are Some Indicators That Your Older AED Model Should be Upgraded
- Device age – Check the manual, manufacturer label or invoice to get an accurate age of your AED. While medical equipment specialists differ on exactly what age an AED should be retired at, a unit that is 10 years or older should be considered for replacement.
- Discontinued by the manufacturer – A good indicator that your unit is ready for replacement is if the manufacturer has discontinued the unit and replacement parts and servicing are no longer available.
- No longer under warranty – Maintaining, replacing parts and repairing your AED can quickly become prohibitively expensive when the unit is out of warranty, making trading in your unit for a newer model a cost-effective choice.
- It utilises monophasic waveforms – Today’s AEDs use biphasic waveforms rather than monophasic waveforms to restore normal heart rhythm as they are far more effective. If your AED was purchased before 2004, it is probably a monophasic unit that is no longer manufactured and should be replaced to meet new standard of care guidelines.
- It has a short battery lifespan – Today’s batteries last considerably longer and have greater capacity than their older counterparts, which are heavier, larger and more expensive to replace. Replacing your unit makes battery maintenance and replacement simpler and more cost-effective while helping to ensure your AED is fully capable if it needs to be utilised.
- It does not offer shock escalation – Modern units have the ability to escalate the energy output in each shock in cases where multiple shocks are required, improving the odds for patient survival. This generally consists of a sequence of three shocks, the first at 82% of full capacity (200J), the second at 86% (300J) and the third at 90% (360J). Even though the shocks are fairly powerful, they are all in line with the latest cardiac treatment guidelines to protect the heart and tissues from damage.
- It only offers basic, potentially outdated instructions – AED designers and manufacturers are continually improving the quality, clarity and effectiveness of voice and visual prompts in order to better assist bystanders in using the AED in a rescue situation. Because guidelines are continually evolving as the medical community develops greater insight into SCA and emergency cardiac response protocols in order to help bystanders act more effectively, it is important that your AED is upgrades to keep pace with the latest developments.
- It does not offer the latest compatibility, connectivity and communication – We’ve all seen how tech in every area of our lives is getting smarter, more intuitive and more helpful – and AEDs are no exception. Many modern AED devices are doing more to support bystanders and emergency services during an SCA event in order to directly improve survival rates. This include GPS tracking to help guide emergency services to the victim, compatibility with emergency services tech to transmit critical patient cardiac and treatment data, and more.
- Maintenance is a challenge – AED maintenance is essential to ensure that your unit is ready to be used at a moment’s notice if someone nearby experiences SCA. If your unit does not have clear indicators that notify you when the battery is low/expired, when the electrode pads need replacing or when the unit needs servicing, it’s easy for it to become unreliable in an emergency situation. Modern AEDs offer a synchronised schedule and automatically run self-diagnosis tests to make maintenance easy.
DefibsPlus is a leading supplier of cardiac emergency equipment, including Mediana, LifePak and Heartsine AEDs. In addition to supplying your facility with a defibrillator, we can also supply you with AED storage and signage, replacement parts, electrode pads, batteries and PPE. Chat to our team today to discuss your first aid and defibrillation requirements.