Preserving your Automated External Defibrillator (AED) battery is critical for it to remain in top condition and work in case of an emergency. Every year, first responders answer at least 295,000 cardiac arrest calls, and it’s estimated that improved access to AEDs and proper training could save 40,000 lives annually.
Since the arrival of the AED in 1965, the ease and accessibility of AEDs has saved many lives, and are now part of mandatory first-aid kits in schools, businesses, airports, health clubs, casinos, and other public places. AEDs can now also be kept as in-home equipment for people who are at risk for cardiac arrest.
More than 1,000 cardiac arrest deaths over 15-years are connected to the failure of AED batteries. It is vital to know how to ensure that the battery in your AED is at peak performance, whether at home or in the workplace, to avoid machine failure in a time of need.
Battery Maintenance Procedures
Your AED battery is the most critical element of the entire system that impacts performance versus complete operating failure. Creating an AED Maintenance Program, even if you have an AED in your home, is vital in ensuring that all components of your battery and entire AED are serviced and maintained. Continuous monitoring of your battery and device regularly will ensure that your AED is working correctly. Make sure to follow manufacturer recommendations carefully when doing any maintenance checks.
Storing your AED in a safe yet accessible area that maintains the lithium battery’s integrity is essential. Lithium batteries should be stored in a well-ventilated, dry area and kept between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also make sure to store your AED away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and water, while also making sure that your device is accessible in an emergency.
Pay Attention to When Your AED Battery Should be Replaced
One of the most important elements to note about your AED battery is that it does have an expiration date. The expiration date dictates the amount of time the battery can hold its charge before needing replacement. You may also see other dates, such as a manufactured date or an install date. A good way to interpret the install date is that this date indicates the life expectancy of the battery component but is very different from the expiration date. Your AED battery life can also depend on the manufacturer. Most batteries need to be replaced every 2 – 5 years, but strictly adhering to the printed expiration date is strongly advised.
Your AED stores electrical energy until the machine is used, and once the electrical surge is discharged, the battery should be replaced as soon as possible.
Battery potency diminishes over time, therefore it’s crucial to create a consistent schedule to have your AED regularly maintained to prevent failure. Be sure to follow manufacturer directions for replacing and general handling of your AED battery. Many companies have video resources on their website that will guide users step-by-step through the process of changing AED batteries.
Because AED batteries are usually lithium-based, these types of batteries should never be thrown in the trash. Battery recycling centers are common in every state and should be utilized to ensure that your battery is disposed of properly.
Benefits of having an AED range from being able to deliver an early defibrillation shock, which increases chances for a full recovery tremendously, to boosting survival rates up to 45% (if defibrillation is provided within five to seven minutes). In the event of cardiac arrest, it can take paramedics eight to twelve minutes to arrive, but someone suffering sudden cardiac arrest may not have that much time. Access to an AED can significantly improve the chance of survival, and advancements in modern medicine have impacted positive survival rates around the world.