Once the cabinet and AED have been installed, running costs are minimal. The cabinet requires a miniscule amount of electricity to power the internal light (which is only activated when the cabinet door is opened), thermostat and heater (to control the temperature of the interior cabinet in cold weather). The cabinet needs a 240V mains electrical supply to run the thermostat, heater and lighting; this is estimated at a few pounds per year. The premises owner should be informed of this cost when the placement of the cabinet is being evaluated.
AEDs have consumable components that will need replacing periodically or when they have been used. The frequency and cost of these varies depending on the make and model of AED.
- The battery life of most AEDs generally lasts between three and five years, or for a certain number of deployments.
- The electrode pads generally have a shelf life of two to three years at which point they will need to be replaced even if they have not been used.
You will need to identify who will cover the cost of replacing the consumable components (battery and pads) on their expiry.
If the pads are used on a patient, then your Ambulance Service may be willing to replace the pads but you will need to confirm this with them.
Should you need to replace the battery or electrode pads within an AED, please contact us and we will be happy to supply these components to you.
What Happens When an AED is Used?
An AED when deployed has an internal memory showing an ECG of the patient and a recording of the event/incident. It has playback capabilities with a custom USB cable directly connected to PC and Windows-based data review software.
In the event that the AED is deployed to the scene of an incident you will need to consider the following points:
- You will require your local Ambulance Service to inspect the AED and commission it after use. In the Chew Valley South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (formerly Great Western Ambulance Service)commissioned all defibrillators and re-commissioned them after any incident when they were deployed.
- If the AED is taken to the scene of an incident but is not required, it should be returned to the cabinet either by the user or the Ambulance Service.
- If the AED is required, either the Ambulance Service take the AED with the patient to hospital or a representative of the Ambulance Service visits the incident and collects the AED from the persons involved with the incident or from the Ambulance crew or hospital. On each of the occasions that an AED has been deployed in the Chew Valley, Great Western Ambulance Service has returned the AED to its cabinet after having downloaded its memory and re-commissioned it for use. You should liaise with your contact at the local Ambulance Service to agree the protocol for returning the AED to the cabinet or to a nominated person.
- You might want to consider including a Deployment Log (form can be provided) in the cabinet to record information about when the AED is used and by whom. Please liaise with your Ambulance Service to determine if this is required.
You may want to be able to monitor and evaluate the occasions on which the AED is called into action. Such information could be invaluable if you intend to expand the project in the future and need evidence to demonstrate the success of your project to date. You should liaise with your local Ambulance Service and Community First Responders (if appropriate) to determine when and how they will provide you with feedback in the event the AED is called into action.
Arrhythmia Alliance will be collecting statistical evidence as the initiative rolls forward on the time and deployment of the AED.