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Advice from the experts: defibrillators

by Loren Bonner , DOTmed News Online Editor
From the July 2012 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

Properly using and maintaining life-saving devices should be any user’s top priority. Mark Taylor from Masterfit Medical, Ben Wellons from eMed Healthcare and John Gladstein from Medical Device Depot share their tips on keeping defibrillators ready for anything.

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    Battery life.
    Older models (15 to 20 years old), which are still used in some private practices and community hospitals, are likely to give you battery issues. These older models usually have backup batteries that need to be replaced even though they’re plugged in all the time. On newer models (no more than 10 to 15 years), batteries will last longer and the self-test will tell you when batteries need to be replaced. Although these devices are more automated, you still have to be aware of how much you’re using it. You need to stay on your PM schedule, which is recommended every year for both newer and older models.


    Testing.
    It’s recommended that you test daily. For older defibs, you’re testing output in nearly all your testing, and you’re testing printer function. Older models have rubber paper rollers, which can become brittle or sticky with time and will ruin the printer. Most new models have cell testing, and different models test different functions. In any case, output should be checked once-a-day.


    Service progam.
    One of the best things any OEM or other distributor can do is develop a type of service program to help customers maintain their defibs. This might involve hands-on training, getting the devices in the right place and maintenance over the life of the equipment (as well as battery replacement when the time comes).

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