A new study points to batteries as the leading problem when it comes to automated external defibrillator (AED) failures, according to news sources.
The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, reported that in the last 15 years, AED failures have been linked to 1,150 deaths. Of these, 1 in 4 were battery related failures. The study analyzed 41,000 reports of AED problems.
Other issues included wiring and connectivity malfunctions.
AED can be crucial in saving a life before emergency personnel can arrive, as statistics show that the likelihood of a heart starting again drops by 7-10 percent with every passing minute.
While industry professionals point out that AED devices usually work, they would like to see changes implemented that would make the device more reliable. For example, a design that would make new software available for download via computer that would also run a test to make sure they’re working properly.
Experts also point out that it’s crucial to report when a medical device fails so that problems can be fixed for the future. They recommend testing the device habitually.
As a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, I hope that the FDA can come up with a solution to ensure that AEDs are doing their job. A family member of someone who was in need of one, only to find it wasn’t working, should never have to wonder “what if?” As a product defect lawyer, I hope we see these changes soon.