Why maintaining AED equipment helps save lives

11th December 2018

Public access defibrillators are increasingly found across UK workplaces and public spaces, and the most commonly used type of defibrillator device is an automated external defibrillator (AED). AEDs are designed to be used by members of the public. They are safe and easy to use, and most importantly, will not allow a shock to be given to a victim who does not require one.

Incidence of sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the UK leading to circa 100, 000 deaths per year, according to research carried out by the British Heart Foundation and the Department of Health. The UK’s Health & Safety Executive and the Resuscitation Council UK provide approved guidance on workplace provision of defibrillator technology and first aid. International resuscitation guidelines advise that public access defibrillation programmes are best supported by AEDs when:    
  • frequency of cardiac arrest is such that there is a reasonable probability of the use of an AED at least once in two years
  • time from call out of emergency ambulance services to delivery of a shock cannot reliably be achieved within five minutes
  • time from collapse of a victim until on-site AED can be deployed is less than five minute.

Employers are not legally mandated to provide defibrillator equipment. Should employers choose to install such equipment following a comprehensive risk assessment, training of those likely to need to use it is strongly recommended. Equally therefore, maintenance of any first aid and safety-related equipment is recommended, and will ensure that the equipment functions correctly at the point of use.

JPen Medical maintain circa 1000 defibrillator equipment across general practices, pharmacies and national care home groups every year.  Based on our extensive experience of maintaining different manufacturer models and types of defibrillator equipment, we deliver efficient, reliable and cost-effective annual maintenance checks ensuring that your AED equipment is working correctly, that essential components will not expire during the certification period, and conforms to electrical safety under IEC 62353 standards.

We also encourage customers to log the location and details of each defibrillator device as part of the ongoing NHS-led database project for mapping the location of defibrillator equipment nationwide. The partnership aims to map all of UK defibrillator locations with the aim to make these life-saving devices readily available for every out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Public access defibrillators are used in less than 3 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, significantly reducing the survival chances of tens of thousands of people every year. There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, but fewer than one in 10 people survive.