Keeping a defibrillator on-site is an excellent health and safety practice. This simple-to-use piece of equipment can save the life of a person who is in cardiac arrest by delivering an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat. It offers an immediate initial treatment when a fast and effective response makes the difference between death and survival.
While defibrillators are typically very low maintenance, you will need to check and replace the battery periodically. Studies have shown that almost a quarter of defibrillator failures are due to a bad, faulty, or expired battery – and these failures often result in fatalities. Here’s our guide to keeping your defibrillator battery in good condition and ready to save lives:
Check the instructions
Each defibrillator manufacturer uses a different battery and electronic components, so each model will have its own battery expiry date. Your equipment should have been supplied with detailed instructions, which will include how often you should change your battery. Your battery itself may be labeled with three different dates:
Manufacture date – when the battery was produced
Install by date – think of this as the dormant shelf-life of the battery. Make sure that your battery is connected up to your equipment before this date or it will rapidly degrade. Typical shelf-life dates are between two and seven years.
Expiration date – this is the date at which, installed or not, your battery needs to be replaced.
Check the equipment
Many modern defibrillators will have warning or system indication lights on them. These show you whether your equipment is ready for use, or if there are any issues preventing discharge. If your battery light is flashing or otherwise warning you, then it has either become disconnected or it is losing charge/empty of charge. Check your equipment on a regular, fixed schedule as part of your site walkthrough and conduct an extra check after each use to make sure that there is still sufficient charge for a further emergency.
Keep a spare
If you can, keep a spare battery to hand and know how to change it. If your battery needs replacing unexpectedly, this will leave you covered for any emergencies while you order and wait for a new one to be delivered. When the battery’s expiration date is approaching, make sure you order a replacement battery in plenty of time so that your device is always rescue-ready.
Dispose of batteries correctly
As with most batteries, your defibrillator battery needs to be disposed of correctly. You’ll need to check the instructions for specific details, but you will probably need to discharge any remaining energy. You should be able to recycle the battery at your local battery recycling facility. Never dispose of batteries, particularly lithium-based ones, in your regular waste.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality-approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk