The snow outside may be pretty but we all know the kind of havoc that can be caused by a drop in temperature and severe wintery conditions. It’s not just transport and your heating bills that are likely to be affected, it could be your defibrillator too.
Medical professionals have a strict care regime to make sure that their equipment is always functioning at its best but, with more and more businesses and communities investing in defibrillators, this level of maintenance can often be overlooked. It’s very easy to get complacent – the shelf life of batteries and electrode pads, as well as plastic gloves and airway adjuncts, is between three and five years and many modern defibrillators can also perform self-checks that will alert you if there is a problem. However, as with any piece of technology, it’s vital that you know the potential impact that this cold weather can have on how your defibrillator performs.
The key thing to look out for is the battery. Most defibrillators use lithium batteries as they store a lot of energy and last a long time, but they can lose charge when exposed to cold temperatures. The result is that they give the appearance of running flat even if it was at full charge the day before. This power may return once the defibrillator is warm again but in an emergency, this will be too late.
It’s advisable to store your unit somewhere that’s not exposed to excessively cold (or hot) temperatures but that’s not always possible, it has to be placed where it will be most useful. If this means storing it outside and the temperature drops to below zero, it’s good practice to bring it indoors for several hours after cold nights so that it has the chance to warm up. It might also be worth investing in an outdoor heated cabinet to keep your unit protected in severe weather conditions.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you keep your defibrillator in peak working condition at this time of year, then please get in touch.