According to a recent study conducted on “AED Readiness” The University of Louisville School of Medicine concluded that 1 in 5 AEDs may not work at point of rescue.
The group assessed AEDs in public, non-hospital settings in four geographically distinct regions – Seattle, Suffolk County, N.Y., Central Illinois and Louisville. Each AED was tested according to manufacturer guidelines. A total of 322 AEDs at 190 unique sites were investigated.
The team found that more than one-fifth of the devices – 21 percent – failed at least one phase of testing. Five percent had expired batteries, failing to power on at all and rendering them useless in the case of sudden cardiac arrest.
The Solution:Implementation of a compliant AED maintenance plan.
There are many factors worthy of consideration when selecting an AED maintenance plan provider or implementation a compliant plan of your own.  For example;

  1. Does the provider specialize in providing AED maintenance plans or is it a secondary offering? The reason why this is important is because many AED sales agencies now offer maintenance plans that may simply be a revenue generator for them and not provide the coverage and important features that a company that specializes in AED maintenance plans can offer.

  3. Does the AED maintenance plan offered by the vendor comply with all federal, state and local AED rules and regulations? If you are not aware of the AED requirements for compliance in your state, you may reach out to companies that specialize in delivering onsite, compliant AED maintenance programs in all 50 states such as for guidance and advice.

  5. Will the AED maintenance plan provider perform onsite inspections of your AEDs or ask you to send your device back to them for inspection? If cost is a factor it may be a more cost effect option to have the device sent in. If rapid response time is more important make sure to ask if your provider offers onsite AED inspections. Many do not simply because they don’t have the technicians or staff located strategically throughout the USA.

  7. Does the AED service provider perform battery and pad expiration date checks and provide parts replacement as part of the AED maintenance plan?Do they perform more robust and thorough evaluation by offering device interrogation whereby they plug into the device to inspect the internal operating system? You should be aware of how they define device inspection. For many companies, offering AED maintenance plans mean that they simply look at pad and battery expiration dates. 47% of all AED failures can be eliminated by making sure AED pad and AED battery expirations are current. While checking pad and battery expiration is vital to making sure your AED is “Response Ready” that still leaves up to 53% of AED failures that can only be determined by inspecting the internal operating system of the device. It is important to know if your provider inspects the pads and batteries only or if they inspect the operating software and other internal parameters. Make sure to ask.

  9. Does your AED maintenance plan provider offer rapid response if one of your devices is out of service? If so, how soon can they guarantee repair or replacement. Insist that your provider supply you with a loaner device within 48 hours should you have a device out of service.

  11. Does your AED maintenance plan provider perform onsite updates should the AHA change the AED protocol? It is important to know the AHA (American Heart Association) revisits protocol guidelines every five years. If there is enough evidence-based research to change the protocol they will issue a directive. Many states require you to update your AED to the most recent protocol standards to be to be compliant. The next time the guidelines are up for possible revision is 2020. If your device is no longer compliant based on new protocols, will your AED maintenance plan provider perform and update in the field as part of your AED service plan? If not, how will this update be performed. If your AED service plan provider does not perform this required service, you are then required to make the update as the AED end user. Do you feel confident and qualified to perform this upgrade?

  13. FCA (field corrective action) It is not rare for an AED manufacturer to announce that one of their models has been subjected by an “FCA” or “field corrective action”. A field corrective action is where a manufacturerhas identified a “possible problem” with a specific model. The problem may not have occurred with enough frequency for the manufacturer to issue a “recall” rather an FCA is issued. With an FCA, the potential issue is “corrected” in the “field” rather than having the AED sent back to the manufacturer as with a recall. The important question to ask your AED maintenance plan provider is if they provide this required upgrade in the field. If not, you will be required the upgrade yourself and then report back to the manufacturer that the upgrade has been performed.It is important to note that many “AED maintenance plan” companies offer maintenance plans as a revenue generator without offering the scale and scope of services you the client may need to be compliant with federal, state and local AED laws.

  15. Recall Management: Over the last decade there have been over 40 recalls across every AED manufacturer. The likelihood is that over a ten years period of “same model” AED ownership you will more than likely encounter either an FCA or Recall. If you have a recall does your AED service plan provider offer a solution where-by they will help you manage the recall. Once again, this is a very important question to ask as you may find yourself having to manage your recallentirely which can be a very expensive and time draining process.

  17. Data Management. Does your AED maintenance plan provider provide a web portal to allow you to manage every AED in your deployment? Whether you have one AED in one state or 500 AEDs in 50 states. It is important to have an online portal for you to view the changing parameters of your AED deployment. The portal should give you 24/7/365 access and provide information like; expiration dates, trained responder certification dates, lot number, serial numbers, where each AED is located within your deployment and much more. If you will be performing data management internally a low cost option is to manage your AED expiration dates and trained responder certification expirations at or similar web portal.

  19. Device Tagging. Every fire extinguisher in your deployment is tagged by the fire marshal or other governing authority to certify that the device has been inspected within the previous 365 days and certifies the extinguisher to be working properly. To date, this is not a requirement on AEDs however it is considered a best practice. It is widely anticipated the FDA may require AED tagging in the years ahead to reduce device failure. Ask your AED maintenance plan provider if they offer device tagging as part of their maintenance plan. This is an important tool to ensure the AEDs in your deployment remain Response Ready. 

  21. Event History Submission. If you deploy your device, will your AED maintenance plan provider visit you to replace pads and or battery? Will they download the event history on the device and provide you with a hard copy? Will they submit event history report to the governing authority in your state that may require the paperwork in a timely manner? If not, how will you perform this requirement to be compliant?

  23. To view a list of other important considerations on features and benefits of a compliant AED maintenance plan, you may visit the following link for features that any qualified service provider will include as part of their AED maintenance plan offering.


Copyright: October 23, 2019
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