How to choose and maintain an AED

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How to choose and maintain an AED

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | May 01, 2013
From the May 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

In the market for an AED? Have one and want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape in case of an emergency? DOTmed News talked to the experts, including Mark Taylor of Masterfit Medical in Jackson, Tenn., Garret Purrington of Medical Equipment Dynamics Inc. in New Bedford, Mass and Robert Schirano at Finger Lakes Medical Supply LLC of Spencerport, N.Y.. Here’s what they said:

  • Put somebody in charge. Accountability is key in maintaining an AED. To help ensure that AEDs are up and running when you need them, it’s best to assign the responsibility of maintaining them to one person. Also, it’s a good idea to provide them with a checklist for their monthly device audits.


  • Learn its birthday. If you’re thinking of buying a defibrillator, used or new, find out what year it was made. If you can, get its serial number. That way you can call up the manufacturer before buying to find out more about the parameters of the unit and check if anything ever went wrong with that make.

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  • Think about batteries and pads. When buying refurbished, you can get a good deal on AEDs, but you should first do your homework. AED batteries, in general, last two to five years. But prices vary widely. For some models with proprietary batteries, replacements can run upwards of $300. For other models, new batteries cost between $50 and $100. Electrode pads, which cost about $40, also expire after about two years, when the self-adhesive gel dries out and becomes brittle. The cost for replacing pads and batteries can add up.


  • For warranties, bigger is better. When buying an AED, don’t just consider the price — also look at the warranty. These vary from brand to brand, but you want something at least within the 5-10 year range. A 10-year warranty is an especially reassuring signal of confidence in the product, our sources say.

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