So you, your place of business, or even your workplace has purchased and installed Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s). That’s all that is needed to be prepared for an incident, or is it?
Obtaining and AED is only the first step in managing an AED program to ensure that you have sufficiently trained personnel to use it, but also that it is regularly inspected and maintained.
Many laws require you to maintain them, although most don’t specify what that actually means.
A cursory search on the Internet for AED maintenance failure resulted in many law firms coming up a the top of the list either discussing past tort cases or seeking new ones. Anyone can sue anybody today and it’s up to a judge or jury to decide whether there was a reasonable suspicion of negligence.
That language is important as in a criminal trial, the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas in a civil matter all they need to prove is a reasonable suspicion of negligence or impropriety. It is a much more grey area and allows a lot more latitude for a judge or jury to determine fault.
In order to lower the likelihood of being sued civilly (remember anyone can file a lawsuit for just about any reason right or wrong), you need to be able to show you are being proactive and doing everyone reasonably possible to maintain your AED’s. It will be harder in court to blame you or your business for negligence if you can show you are actively monitoring the health of the device versus hanging it on a wall and forgetting about it.
What then does maintenance include?
It should include:
- Routine inspections of the device – physically check the device, make sure no warning lights are on, and power it up to make sure it starts up as normal. This should be done monthly at a minimum.
- Verify the expiration dates of the batteries and pads – adult and pediatric pads
- Check the battery – We will often remove and reseat the batter as part of our check
- Document the inspection with initials, date, and that dates of battery and pads were verified
The easiest way to document this is to either create a form with lines that can be initialed, checked, and dated each time its inspected. You can also use an online form or system, but they can be questioned as to authenticity unless its a program that logs and tracks when entries are made.
Our program will track all of your AED’s, their locations, and inspections can be logged by you or your staff. Reminders can be sent for the inspections and, it will track the expiration dates of both the pads and the batteries and remind you about 90 days out. You will have access to the portal to see your devices, log inspections, and verify the units and dates.
Contact us today to discuss implementing an AED management program for your AED’s.