How to Maintain an AED Device in 16 Practical Steps

an example of a defibrillator

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a common life-saving device. In the event of an unconscious patient suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, the employment of AED equipment is vital to restart his heart functions. AED should be utilized during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If patients are not treated by the end of optimal treatment time (estimated to be within 4-5 minutes), there is little chance of survival.

Cardiac arrestsis often the result of ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia, which occur when the electrical system of heart malfunctions [1]. Though they are commonly thought of as heart attacks’ synonym, the two are significantly different. A heart attack presents itself when the heart does not receive enough blood supply due to clogged arteries [2] — causing the heart muscle to degenerate as a consequence of oxygen deprivation.

In most countries, including the United States, ambulances are equipped with defibrillators, and emergency situations are handled swiftly and efficiently by professional paramedics. Defibrillators have saved the lives of numerous patients and are the most useful tools during cardiac arrests related emergencies.

However, the utilization of defibrillators is not just restricted to doctors and paramedics. There are different types of defibrillators which serve different medical purposes. Among them, the AED is generally designed for non-professional use, and the installation is recommended in public spaces and facilities. Most medical councils suggest that public access to defibrillation machinery should be allowed and could lead to higher survival rates.

To learn CPR techniques and to be able to use an AED, a person needs to undergo the Basic Life Support (BLS) training program, which is offered by numerous health institutes and non-profit organizations, such as the Red Cross [3].

To ensure that the AED adequately operates in the event of necessity, it must go through regular checks and cleaning. Mindray has listed detailed steps and procedure descriptions to properly conduct maintenance.


The machinery should be cleaned regularly, more frequently in the presence of heavy pollution, dust and sands in your location. Before proceeding, consult your facility’s hygiene regulations.

Here are some recommended cleaning agents:

  • Water
  • 10% Sodium Hypochlorite bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 75% ethanol
  • 70% isopropyl
  • Classic Concentrate OXY (KHSO4 solution)

To clean the equipment, please follow these rules:

  • Shut down the appliance, disconnect cables, and remove the battery.
  • Wipe the display screen and the exterior surface of the equipment using a soft cloth dampened with a glass surface cleaning solution.
  • Rub off all the solution with a dry cloth (if necessary).
  • Let the machinery dries out in a ventilated, cool environment.


Disinfect AED devices as required in your facility’s servicing schedule. Cleaning them before disinfecting is suggested.


Sterilization is not mandatory unless otherwise indicated in the Instructions for Use which comes with the product.


It is necessary to conduct regular maintenance [5]. Check on your AED equipment to determine if it is indeed functioning in optimal condition. The following steps can help you to ensure your device properly upkeep.

  • Place the AED device in an easily accessible and visible location, such as on a corridor wall.
  • Make sure the correct installation of the battery.
  • Ensure that the status or service light is working accordingly.
  • Verify that visual and audio alarms are correctly operational.
  • In front of a product with audio instructions, make sure of the correct playback.
  • Thoroughly inspect the exterior of the AED instrumentations for any signs of damage.
  • Check that the pads are in the optimal conditions.
  • Assess that the battery has not expired and that the AED has enough electricity.
  • Always keep a record of AED inspections to ensure it is done regularly and thoroughly.
  • Further information can be found in the instruction manual.

*Note: This information is for general and educational reasons only, they are not to be considered as replacement of the guidance provided by the manufacturers of the AED.


[1] Emergency Treatment of Cardiac Arrest. (2020). Retrieved 31 January 2020, from

[2] Watch: What’s the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest? (2020). Retrieved 31 January 2020, from

[3] AED | Learn to Use an AED Defibrillator | Red Cross. (2020). Retrieved 31 January 2020, from

[4] Resuscitation Council (UK) and the British Heart Foundation. (2017). A guide to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) [Ebook]. Retrieved from

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