Why AED Management?
Believe it or not, many organizations are at grave risk of being unprepared in an emergency—while at the same time, they reassure themselves that they are ready, because they have installed an AED. AED installation is just one small part of being ready.
If your facility’s AED isn’t up to date, and your staff isn’t trained, you are not ready when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest. Don’t put your organization in this heart-breaking situation. Premedics innovated the AED management industry in 1998. Our leadership and services ensure that our clients can rest easy, knowing their most important asset—their people—are Premedics Protected.
Consider these aspects of AED Management:
AEDs are simple, easy-to-use devices that just about anyone can use, yet maintaining a company, campus or community as a long-term ready AED (pre-EMS) system is complex.
“Survival from cardiac arrest depends on the reliable operation of AEDs,” said Dr. Lawrence DeLuca, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “AEDs can truly be lifesavers, but only if they are in good working order and people are willing to use them,” said DeLuca, who had a personal experience with batteries failing on a device when he was trying to revive a fellow guest at a resort in 2008. “It took nine minutes to retrieve a second AED, which did work. The patient was not revived.” (Portable Defibrillators Need Regular Maintenance to Prevent Fail Scripps Health and Science writer Lee Bowman, 8/22/2013.)
Your team is busy doing what they do best every day. While it seems easy to start an AED program, it is also easy to forget about the critical components that must be maintained in a ready state:
- AED status indicators need to be checked (no less than once a month).
- AED pads expire (sometimes as soon as 18-24 months after purchase).
- AED batteries must be in date and a back-up set of batteries is recommended.
- Your team must be certified in CPR/AED training (expires every 24 months).
- Are there enough personnel trained to cover all hours of operation including vacation and holidays?
- Are all of your trained team members oriented on the specific AED device type that you have installed?
- Have they practiced a Sudden Cardiac Arrest scenario this year utilizing the same type AED training unit as installed?
- Have you had key AED coordinating personnel changes at any of your locations this year?
- Are you certain that the AED program is being monitored and maintained at each of your locations?
- Do all of your employees and patrons know where your AEDs are located and what location is nearest to them?
- Are all of your devices updated to the latest AHA science guidelines?
- Are any of your AED devices under an FDA recall?
AED manufacturers recommend checking the AED unit periodically (no less than once a month). AEDs perform self-tests in most cases daily, weekly, and monthly. AEDs have a visual status indicator that will change to a not-ready status and auditory indicator that will begin to chirp or beep if one of the AEDs does not pass its self-test. This is the only way to know if the AED is ready. Therefore, a systematic process must be in place to make sure each AED installation is checked routinely.
Medical Device Management
AEDs are FDA class III medical devices that are prescribed not to a patient, but to a location. There is no physician/patient relationship, yet physician leadership is essential to an effective AED management program, so that once therapy is given in an emergency its appropriateness and effectiveness can be evaluated. Each AED records ECG heart rhythms and data when deployed, and this data must be retrieved and evaluated by the medical director or prescribing physician after each use.
Many states’ Good Samaritan laws and local regulations require that entities establishing a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program have routine inspections of AED installations, CPR/AED training, medical leadership, and registration of AED installation with EMS emergency communications. All of these components can be provided for you by your AED management service firm and will strengthen your location’s compliance, and therefore the immunity, extended by your local Good Samaritan legislation.
AED management makes good risk management sense and cents. Outsourcing the management of your AED program to a professional AED management firm provides your company with another layer of risk protection. Premedics Systems invests in professional and product liability insurance for the service of managing AED Best Practices, and we extend multi-million dollar indemnification for clients that comply with our readiness process. An entity could not purchase this type of indemnification for itself if maintaining the process in-house, so it is worth every penny spent on AED management for this value alone (yet so much more value is included).
These are just some of the many moving pieces to the management of your AED program’s system of readiness. Unless you have an in-house system of readiness with multiple levels of verification, there is no need to guess or just think that your program is ready—let Premedics sync you ready.
Article: More than Meets the Eye: Buying an AED Doesn’t Mean Your Company is Ready to Save Lives (Occupational Health & Safety Magazine) 2003 by Brent Hetherington BA., EMT-P
Francisco Rojas, Director of Operations for CBL Properties