Automated External Defibrillators

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that analyses a person’s heart rhythm and, when needed, delivers a shock to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims who are in a shockable heart rhythm. 
A defibrillator can play a potentially lifesaving role. Used correctly, it can improve a person’s survival chances following SCA. Therefore, defibrillators need to be accessible and in good working order at all times in the event that they are needed for an emergency situation. Failure to maintain defibrillators in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations may result in the devices not working as intended in an emergency situation. 
Read more in the HPRA's information leaflet; Automated external defibrillators. This leaflet provides advice on selecting and purchasing an AED for use in a community setting as well as recommendations for maintaining the device after it has been purchased.
 

HPRA requests owners to check defibrillators

The HPRA requests owners of AEDs to urgently check that the recommended safety and maintenance updates on their device have been undertaken.  Most importantly, the HPRA stresses that if an update or other action is identified and communicated by the manufacturer to the owner, through the publication and distribution of what is called a field safety notice (FSN), then this should be undertaken immediately. Otherwise the AED may not work properly when it is needed. 

Manufacturers are obliged to continuously monitor their devices and through this market surveillance, they have identified corrective actions, communicated through an FSN which are required to ensure the continued safe use of their AEDs. 

  • Over the past 12 months, corrective actions have been identified for 3 AED models, from one manufacturer, which account for 294 devices on the Irish market. Of these, 148 devices still require upgrades.
  • In total 614 defibrillators in Ireland require a corrective action.
  • Since the media campaign in November 2017, 95 AEDs have received updates that were outstanding at that time.

 

All outstanding field safety notices for defibrillators are listed and linked below.  Please note that some of these actions commenced in 2012 and despite significant efforts by the manufacturer to complete the action, they have not been successful.

Press Release 29 January 2019