Many people don’t even think about upgrading their AED as they would other critical equipment. It is understandable that it may not be top of mind as an AED is not something that you use frequently, but they are critical pieces of a complete life safety plan and should be upgraded like other equipment.
Three things to consider:
1. WarrantyMany large companies replace their AEDs when they come to the end of their warranty period. This is a very good practice as is provides a preset time to upgrade. Repairs are very uncommon in AEDs, but if there is an issue having it covered under warranty provides cost savings and peace of mind.
2. Maintenance CostsHow much time and money does it cost you to maintain your AEDs? Some older AEDs require the pads to be changed every two years. New advancements now allow pads to last for 5 years. Older units also require two sets of pads to be maintained. One for children and one for adults. New technology has eliminated the need for two sets of pads and you can simply press a button to switch between adult or child rescue. Similarly, with older batteries their lifespan was normally 4 years or less. Also, some of the batteries on the older units cost $400 or more, which is a lot of money just for a battery. Newer batteries are now able to last for 5 years and cost just over $200.
3. New features that improve outcomesAre there units available with better features that can improve life saving outcomes? It is understandable that people would not be overly impressed by new features if they did not help increase survival rates. The big advancement in recent years is CPR feedback. Older units provide CPR guidance, but not real time CPR feedback. Technological advancements now allow your AED to tell you in real time if you are performing CPR correctly. If you need to make adjustments it will tell you exactly what to correct. Amazingly, this increases survival rates by 50%.
“Monitoring of CPR quality is arguably one of the most significant advances in resuscitation practice in the past 20 years and one that should be incorporated into every resuscitation.” – AHA CPR Quality Consensus Statement. Circulation. 2013;128; pg. 420.Finally, does your AED provide real time audio and video instructions? Being told what to do is great, but for visual learners seeing what to do is even better. New units have a full colour LED display that shows you what to do in real time in addition to audio instructions. In summary AEDs should be upgraded like every other piece of equipment. Doing so can save you money and possibly a person’s life.