Every day we use machines with disposable parts. Brake pads on cars need to be changed periodically. Chances are, your smartphone charger will likely wear out long before your device will. How many batteries have you changed in remote controls, appliances, toys, and watches over the course of your lifetime?
Yet people are often surprised to discover that their AED pads need to be changed every so often, even if their AED (Automated External Defibrillator) has never been used. In fact, next to battery failure, AED pad failure is one of the most common malfunctions an AED can have. Fortunately, knowing when and how to replace your AED pads is a simple process.
1. Check the Label
AED pads have a lifespan between two and four years, depending on the manufacturer. This is due, in large part, to the water-based gel that forms the seal between the electrode and the patient’s skin. Over time, even when sealed, the gel can become dried out and brittle, making it impossible to stick where you want it to. Fortunately, AED pads are also labeled with a “use by” date. This does not mean the pads “expire” but rather when they should be swapped out for new pads.
2. Purchase Replacement AED Pads
Replacement AED pads can be purchased from Foremost Medical Equipment for a variety of AED’s. It is important to purchase the pads that are compatible with your device. Replacement pads cost between $40 and $250, depending on the brand. While you are ordering AED pads, consider ordering an extra set. Not only will you have a backup in the even the first set malfunction in an emergency, but your AED will also remain in working order if another rescue needs to take place before you can replace the first set.
3. Replace the AED Pads
AED pads should be stored with your device in an easy-to-carry case. Simply remove the old pads and replace them with the new set. This is also an ideal time to test your AED’s battery and make sure it is charged and ready to use. Most AEDs have a readiness display or a testing mode that you should engage according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Some models have a self-charging feature while others need to be recharged from time to time. When you replace your pads, take a moment to make sure your AED’s battery is in working order, and any other disposable materials are within their recommended “use by” date.
4. Make a record
Finally, make sure you make a note of when the AED pads were replaced and when they will need to be rechecked. This can be done in a lot book, chart, or automated calendar reminder.
When used during a sudden cardiac arrest, an AED dramatically increases the chance of saving a person’s life. However, it can only perform this vital function if all of its parts are in working order. For more information on which AED pads are right for your device, contact the knowledgeable experts at Foremost Medical Equipment.