Life-saving equipment and supplies need periodic maintenance and replacement. Enter the school year with confidence that you will be prepared for ANY medical emergency. Perform a physical inspection of all equipment and supplies kept on hand to save lives.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
AED Defibrillation Pads
AED pads expire and batteries will run down, so it is important to understand how to properly inspect your AEDs to ensure that both parts are up to date.
Expired AED pads dry out and may cause burns on the patient’s skin. Most AED pads will expire 24-30 months after purchase. In some AED models, AED pads are good for 4 or 5 years. Look on the AED pad for the words “Use by,” or for this symbol:
The date posted will be the expiration date.
Do not confuse an expiration date for a manufactured date. You may see a symbol like this:
This symbol represents the date the product was manufactured.
It is important to note the rules differ when replacing AED batteries. Most AED batteries have a date on them, but they are not necessarily expiration dates.
Most dates on AED batteries are “Install by” dates. This means the clock starts ticking on the long life of the battery the moment it is installed into the AED unit. Most AED batteries last 4 to 5 years. It’s best to make a note of when you install the new battery so you can keep track of how long it’s been installed. We recommend using a Sharpie marker to write the date of installation directly on the battery. If you don’t know the date of installation, we can usually backtrack the lot number on the battery for an approximate installation date.
Call VES right away if your AED pads are expired or you are concerned about the life of your AED battery. We can be reached at 877-558-7377.
Auto-injectors have an approximate 18 month shelf life. Be sure to check the date of your auto-injectors. Most auto-injectors require a prescription and are typically handled by the school nurse.
First Aid Kits
Some items in any first aid kits can and will expire. Some items will become damaged or worn over time and may no longer be sterile. When products expire or packaging is compromised, the products become less effective and in rare cases; can cause more harm. We’ve compiled a list of items that may be in your first aid kit. You should check these and dispose of if necessary.
- Over the counter medicines (OTC) such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, etc.
- Eye wash, purified water or saline
- Alcohol Towelettes**
- Antiseptic Towelettes** or Sprays
- Antibiotic or Hydrocortisone Ointment
- Burn or First Aid sprays and ointments with Lidocaine
- Hand sanitizer
- Emergency glucose; such as gel or tablets.
**Some of the towelettes have no expiration date present. Open one. Dispose of any towelettes that are no longer moist or they are dry to the touch.
Typically bandages and CPR barrier devices don’t expire, but over time can deteriorate. Check your bandages and CPR barrier devices for yellowing or compromised packaging. They may no longer be sterile and could cause infection, and therefore must be replaced.
Finally, make sure you have all the recommended items in your kit. This graph contains the most current American National Safety Institute standards. All types of workplaces must be in compliance with the minimum requirements or “Class A” classification. Most office-type workplaces fall under Class A, but if you work in manufacturing, construction or agriculture, you and your employees are considered a greater risk of workplace injury, and are therefore your first aid kit should contain the items listed in Class B.
If you have any questions about your current first aid kit, or want to purchase one that is compliant with the ANSI national standard, call us at (217) 359-0101.