What to do after your AED has been utilized in an Emergency
Around 40,000 Cardiac Arrests occur every year in Canada. There are often intrepid bystanders who step in to provide assistance, including by using an Automated External Defibrillator. If your AED was recently brought to a medical emergency, here are some things you may want to consider and evaluate after its use.
AED pads, or electrodes, are single use. Once they have been removed from their package, they need to be disposed of (regardless of whether or not they were applied to the patient or used). If you keep a spare set of pads with your AED, you will be able to plug in the spare set to keep the AED ready for use. If you do not have a spare set of pads available, you will need to order more. Please contact your AED supplier to place an order. If you are not sure where to place your order, please click here for a list of AED vendors that can provide you with options.
Most AEDs should come equipped with a responder kit, which includes additional tools to help rescuers during a Cardiac Arrest. This kit may include a pocket mask, disposable gloves, a razor, a pair of scissors, and a towel. You will need to verify the contents of this kit and replace or sanitize anything that was used prior to returning the AED to service.
If your AED is registered with the Heart Safe AED Database, you will be able to log in to your account and fill out a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Report Form. Here, you will enter details about the medical event that occurred, if they are available. Information being reported on the form includes the date and time of the incident, whether the AED was applied to the patient, and how many shocks were administered (if any).
When you submit a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Report Form, a member of the Public Access to Defibrillation Team will follow up with you to make sure you have support and resources after the incident. This includes steps on how to submit for reimbursement of replacement pads (not available for AHS facilities).
You may also want to complete your monthly inspection at this time to confirm that all aspects of the AED are in working order and ready for use. Monthly inspections involve verifying the readiness indicator, pads, batteries, storage cabinet, and responder kit. Additional checks may be involved as well. More information can be found in the member area of www.heart-safe.ca.
Verify your manual
Consult your manufacturer’s website for a digital copy of your manual. Read through and confirm requirements for maintaining your AED. While AEDs are designed to perform periodic self-checks, you may choose to run a self-diagnostic on the machine after use. The manual will provide details on how to do this.
After Incident Support
Being involved in a medical emergency, especially a Cardiac Arrest, can be a very difficult situation to process. Many rescuers have doubts about how they handled the situation or questions about what has happened. Ensure that everyone involved in the incident has access to resources and supports afterwards. This may be through an Employee Assistance Program, Peer Support, or Counselling. Additional resources can be found listed on the website below.
The Public Access to Defibrillation Program is always available to offer additional assistance, whether that be answering questions and inquiries, participating in discussions, or listening to suggestions. We can be reached by emailing PAD@ahs.ca or by calling our toll-free number at 1-866-786-1440.