Abstract 39: Donating Automated External Defibrillators May Not Be Enough
Background: In response to the out-of-hospital sudden death of their son, parents and friends established a local foundation in Tucson, Arizona to help prevent sudden cardiac death. One of their projects was to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) predominately to public and private schools, places of worship, boys and girls clubs and museums in Tucson, Arizona and surrounding area. Prior to receiving the AED, the majority of sites attended training in the use of the AED, that included information concerning the need to replace the electrodes pads before they expired.
Methods: The first author of this abstract (a trained Emergency Medical Technician and a recent college graduate) visited sites that responded to the offer of assistance to retrain individuals in the proper use of their AED. Included in the visit, she determined the status of the donated AED and provided education about future maintenance.
Results: Each site visited had received their AED between 7/2009 and 4/2011. Of the 36 sites visited, the majority of the units had potential problems. One had been stolen, and one was missing (2/36 or 6%). Of the remaining 34 units, 23/34 (68%) had outdated electrode pads, and in 2/34 (6%) the battery had expired. Thus only 11/34 (32%) were emergency ready. Of these, 7/11 had been donated within two years (the average shelf-life of AED electrode pads). The other 4/11 had replaced their expired AED electrode pads.
Conclusions: Providing AEDs alone may not be the optimal approach. A system must be in place to assure that they are properly stored and maintained. AED pads with longer “shelf-life” should also be a goal of AED manufacturers.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.