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Every day we use machines with replaceable parts. From changing the oil in your car and the ink in your printer; chances are your smartphone charger will likely wear out long before your device does. Much like these examples, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) pads need to be changed periodically, even if the AED has never been used. In fact, next to battery failure, AED pad failure is one of the most common maintenance issues an AED can have. Fortunately, knowing when and how to replace your AED pads is a simple process.
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.
Replacement AED pads can be purchased from One Beat Medical. It is important to purchase pads that are compatible with your device. Replacement pads cost between $40 and $250, depending on the brand. While you are ordering AED pads, some people suggest having an extra pair. A second set of pads provides peace of mind. You will be prepared for more than one emergency. If another cardiac emergency takes place before you can replace the first set of pads, your AED will still be in working order and rescue ready.
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. When you replace your pads, take a moment to make sure any other replaceable accessories are within their recommended “use by” date. This is the 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.
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 with an AED inspection tag, in a log book, chart, online document, 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, follow the chart below or contact the knowledgeable experts at One Beat Medical & Training.