Looking after your AED
"The hard part is now over - you have set up your AED! Here are just a few tips on how to maintain it."
It is vital to register your AED on a national database so that we can easily keep track of how many there are in any given area.
The Arrhythmia Alliance and AED Locator invite everyone to register their defibrillator online. This way any person wishing to know the whereabouts of an AED can simply enter the post code, and the nearest AED will be displayed on the map.
Register by clicking on the map.
The cabinet requires a small amount of electricity to power the internal light, as well as the thermostat and heater, to control the temperature of the interior cabinet in cold weather.
The cabinet needs a 240V mains electrical supply to run these components which costs just a few pounds per year. The premises owner should be informed of this cost when the placement of the cabinet is being evaluated.
AEDs have some components which will need replacing from time to time or when they have been used. The frequency and cost of these varies depending on the make and model.
The battery life of most AEDs is generally between three and five years, or for a certain number of deployments. The pads generally have a shelf life of two to three years at which point they will need to be replaced even if they have not been used. You will need to identify someone to cover the cost of replacing the consumable components on their expiry.
If the pads are used on a patient, then your local ambulance service may be willing to replace them but you will need to confirm this.
A guardian is a person who takes on the responsibility for inspecting a cabinet along with the defibrillator. It only takes a few minutes and is recommended once a fortnight.
The responsibility for carrying out the checks is important and gives an opportunity to report anything wrong with the defibrillator. This is very rare and only happens if perhaps the battery needs replacing, though most defibrillators indicate a pre-warning light or tone.
In many cases the inspection is carried out by the owner of the property where the cabinet is located. This may be a shop, Post Office, pub or private residence. In other cases where the cabinet is on a public building such as a village hall, sports centre, community centre or school; then it may be an appointed person who attends the premises on a frequent basis who acts as the Guardian.
Knowing that the cabinet and defibrillator have been inspected is just another way of giving peace of mind and reassurance to the community. It is important that the defibrillator is in full working order just in case there is a need for it to be accessed should a sudden cardiac arrest be reported.