As we approach our coldest part of the year in the UK, and the cold frosty weather starts to set in, its more essential than ever that you have the correct protection for your defibrillator and equipment against all the elements.
Not only do cold temperatures increase the likelihood of hypothermia — which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — but weather extremes may also negatively affect the performance of your Defib. Even if an AED has received all of the relevant updates, defibrillators and their accessories can be badly affected by the weather and other environmental conditions.
For optimal performance, it is recommended that your defibrillator is stored at a temperature of 0°C to 50°C. Defibs that are too cold may also fail to operate, rendering them useless in emergency situations
If any of you device components aren't working, the readiness indicator on your defibrillator changes from what you usually see. For some models, you may notice the readiness indicator turned from green to red (cardiac science for example) or change to a cross from a from a tick for example. In some units; you may also hear a beeping noise to indicate that attention is required.
If you aren’t sure on what noises or buttons are showing, we are always happy to assist so please contact us if you're not too sure.
Fortunately, most AEDs, like the Mindray C1A for example, perform daily self-checks to ensure that all its essential components are operational.
With most public access defibrillators being stored outside to make them accessible any time of day in the event of emergency, it is important that if you choose to store your AED outside make sure that you invest in an appropriate cabinet for your device that will shelter it from the cold and heat.
To keep your defibrillator functioning during the Winter when stored outdoors for public access, you will need an outdoor heated cabinet. This protects the defib and adjusts accordingly to ensure your life-saving device is kept at the right temperature and ready to be used in an emergency at all times. This means you will need to have access to a power supply! Planning to install a public access defibrillator? Browse our outdoor packages here!
For AEDs stored in vehicles, make sure to routinely check the unit for readiness. If the AED is chirping or displaying a service needed status indicator, take the unit indoors. Once it has a chance to warm up, if it’s still beeping, contact the manufacturer or reseller for further instruction.
Defibrillator pads are a core component as they allow your defibrillator to analyse heart rhythms and deliver a life-saving shock if and when they are required. If defib pads are exposed to cold, the gel on the adhesive pads can freeze and will be unable to be used in a cardiac emergency.
Batteries are a main component as they provide your defibrillator with power to function and deliver life-saving treatment. It’s essential for making sure your device is ready and able to perform its' daily, weekly and monthly self-checks to remain in a fully optimal and working condition. There is a risk of the cold weather draining batteries, and in turn affects how your device performs.
If you keep an Defib in your car or work vehicle, insulated cases may help protect the device from extreme temperatures. You may also want to invest in an extra battery, because cooler temperatures are extra hard on your battery! View our range of batteries here.
Want some inspiration?
If you have an outdoor public access Defib, be sure to invest in an all-weather cabinet and check the device’s batteries and pads monthly. We have detailed some of the best and the end of this article!
Made in the UK, the DefibCaddy is a high quality cabient for an affordable price to help keep your dewifbrilaltor protected at all times. It has high visibility robust construction and is made from Polyethylene. It is double skinned for strength and insulation and is moulded one piece construction, with no screws or joints, meaning all threaded fixing holes are moulded in for increased strength and durability.
Shop the unlocked: DefibCaddy External Unlocked Defibrillator Cabinet - Defib World
Shop the locked: DefibCaddy External Locked Defibrillator Cabinet - Defib World
Defib Store 4000:
The DefibStore 4000 Outdoor Cabinet is made from high impact polycarbonate, is fully waterproof and dust tight, with thermostatic heating and motion sensing LED lighting and is suitable for coastal locations. It is fully corrosion resistant in UV stabilised high impact polycarbonate, the same material used in Police riot shields.
Shop the unlocked: DefibStore 4000 Outdoor Polycarbonate Unlocked Cabinet - Defib World
Shop the locked: DefibStore 4000 Outdoor Locked Polycarbonate Cabinet - Defib World
The DefibSafe 2 gives superior protection from the elements. The door is made from the same material that is used to make riot shields giving additional peace of mind about the safety of the defibrillator inside. The lock used on this cabinet comes with a two year warranty through normal usage, excluding vandalism. It is made from high quality stainless steel making it durable and weatherproof.
Shop the unlocked: DefibSafe 2 External Unlocked Cabinet - Defib World
Shop the locked: DefibSafe 2 External Cabinet - Defib World