AEDs have been around for more than 20 years now. Many older AEDs are still in service and capable of saving lives. However, as it is with any technology, advances occur which makes older devices less effective, less efficient, and less desirable than the newer models. There are several reasons to consider upgrading from an older model AED to a newer device.
AED manufacturers, when designing new AEDs, incorporate the latest advances in new technologies, thus improving their products and developing new devices with enhanced capabilities. Older AEDs, while still able to perform their function, need to be phased out at the end of their useful life. Calculating the AED’s useful life involves multiple pieces of information, including the items below.
AEDs are computerized electronic devices and have a finite lifespan. Electronic components have been known to fail at an advanced age, circuit boards delaminate, and capacitors no longer charge properly. While AEDs do perform automated self-tests to monitor these components, AED failure becomes significantly more likely the older the age of the AED.
All AEDs come with a manufacturer’s warranty which is in effect for a specific period of time. When the AED becomes “out of warranty”, it may be difficult to obtain service for that AED, should service become necessary. Also, when an AED reaches its “end-of-life”, consumables like electrode pads and batteries may no longer be available.
All AEDs are programmed to follow the current AHA/ERC Guidelines for CPR which are updated at least every five years since 2000 (the most recent AHA Guidelines were released in 2015). When new guidelines are released, they may change how the AED should operate and require updates (software or hardware) to existing AEDs. Depending on when your AED was manufactured, your AED may be using outdated CPR and AED protocols and, depending on age, may not be reconfigurable for the newest guidelines.
AED manufacturers also provide AED owners with indemnity regarding the good faith use of the AED. If an AED is out of warranty, the indemnity may no longer be valid or available in the event you use your AED.
Purchasing a brand new AED means you receive a new warranty and the latest in technological advances such as faster, more accurate analysis, less delay in delivering shocks, the latest AHA guidelines, and new, innovative features. If you think about an AED in the same terms as a personal computer or an automobile, would you rather have the latest model or one from 10 or more years ago?
To keep your AED Program compliant and for the protection of you and your visitors, we recommend setting a clear obsolescence date which covers all AEDs regardless of make and/or model. We frequently see AED acquirers target a 10-year replacement date and feel this is usually a reasonable timeframe for replacement. As always, we are happy to discuss a personalized obsolescence recommendation for your AED program – just give us a call!