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Study Finds Some AEDs Might Need Emergency Care

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – A new study shows that more than twenty percent of the automated external defibrillators, used to resuscitate victims of cardiac arrest, could malfunction.

Over the past five years, the number of devices, known as AEDs, that have been distributed in public areas has increased almost tenfold. Hundreds of thousands of the life-saving devices can be found in places such as schools, airports and sports arenas.

But with their increased availability is a growing chance that the devices might not actually work properly when there is an emergency.

During the time period studied, 52 advisories or recalls were issued. Dale Lesinski is a vice president with DiVal Safety Equipment. The local company has sold AEDs for many years.

Lesinski said they have a pro-active system to let owners know when there is a potential problem, and when the devices need scheduled maintenance.

But Lesinski said owners and facility managers can also check on the web to make sure no problems have been reported for their particular unit. Lesinski said it is all part of being a responsible AED owner.

He said the devices are very successful at saving lives, but he said owners shouldn't neglect routine care, such as battery and pad replacement.

The study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that most malfunctions were due to problems with hardware.

There were 370 cases reported where malfunctions occurred during the resuscitation of a patient.

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