In this blog we’ll explore everything you need to know to care for your Philips HeartStart Onsite AED. First, rest assured knowing you’ve bought one of the most advanced defibrillators’ available on the commercial market. But, like every other mechanical device it’s requires basic checkups to keep in working in tip top shape.
The Onsite is relatively easy device to maintain. It will automatically perform a self-test every day on the battery and internal circuitry to verify that it’s functioning properly. If the device needs attention it will send off an audible chirp to let those around know it required maintenance.
No matter if you’re storing the device in a wall cabinet in the back or a police car it’s important that you regularly inspect your defibrillator to ensure it’s in working condition when it’s needed during an emergency.
However, as an owner of a portable defibrillator there are periodic checks that you should perform to verify that the device is in good working condition.
Check the Status light on the device. If it’s blinking or making any noises refer to the owner’s manual to determine exactly what issues need to be addressed.
Check the expiration date of the AED pads and batteries. The expiration date for these parts can often be found on the front of the battery or the sealed pads package. Typically, these components have a four year self life so they will not need to be replaced very often. However, these are often the two components that are most over looked and most critical during an emergency.
Physically inspect the defibrillator. Check to see if there are any cracks in the casing or other signs of damage. If you see anything that does not look correct or as it did when you first purchased the device you should contact the manufacturer or your retailer.
Inspect the accessories used during an emergency to verify they are still there and are not damaged or missing. For example, you should always keep a prep kit with your defibrillator. Your prep kit should include scissors, CPR mask, and anti-bacterial wipes. If any of these accessories are missing you should immediately replace them.
After years of storage your defibrillator can become dirty or discolored. To remedy this and you’re your device looking brand new, simply take a cotton swab or soft cloth and wet it with soapy water or ammonia based cleaner. Gently wipe the defibrillator with the swab or cloth to remove any dust or dirt. The solvent in the ammonia is safe to use on the casing and should remove any discoloration or debris. Be sure not use too much liquid where it may drip into the device and damage the circuitry. Never immerse the device into any liquid use rubbing alcohol, or abrasive materials to clean the device.
Your defibrillator should also have a test inspection card so you can record who last inspected the device and when. This will also allow you to schedule when the next maintenance check should occur. A good rule of thumb is to inspect the devices at least every six months, or twice a year.
If you store your aed in an office building your facilities manager should build into their standard operating manuals an inspection process and checklist. The above steps should be included in the process but you should always check the owner’s manual for specific details for your model. Keeping your defibrillator in good working condition and verifying that the critical parts have not expired will ensure that it’s ready for use during an emergency.