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At the most critical moment, its essential that your AED’s battery is charged and operational.  A study in 2011 from the Annals of Emergency Medicine (report here), found that twenty-five percent of AED failures were the result of low or dead batteries. Problems with pads, cables and batteries accounted for nearly half the failures — mistakes that could have been due to poor maintenance.

The life of an AED battery can vary depending on the manufacturer.  Typically, most need to be replaced every two to five years. But how do you know when it’s time to replace the battery on your AED?

Check the recommended replacement dates on your device.  There are typically three types of dates found on an AED battery.

  1. Date Manufactured – This represents the date in which the battery was produced.
  2. Install-by date (indicates the shelf-life of a battery) – This date represents the shelf-life of a battery. To ensure the guaranteed life expectancy of a battery, one must install an AED replacement battery no later than this date. Life expectancy of batteries will vary between 2-7 years, depending on the manufacturer & model.  This is NOT the expiration date of the battery.
  3. Expiration date – If there is an expiration date on the battery, you should install AED replacement batteries no later than that printed date.

As part of your AED management program, check your AED device routinely per manufacture recommendations in order to ensure that the device is “rescue ready” and that the batteries are current and installed correctly.  It’s also a good idea to keep a back-up battery on hand at all times.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation published an article that explains the importance of AED maintenance and requirements by the FDA. You can read “Portable Defibrillators Need Regular Maintenance to Prevent Failures” here.


Rescue-one offers AED management programs for organizations. You’ve committed to making your organization heart-safe by investing in AEDs, but your responsibility does not end there. The next step is to manage your AED program. Rescue One’s AED Management Programs are designed to help you manage every aspect of your program, including helping to keep your AED in proper working order, ensuring that your AED program is being conducted in accordance with each state’s laws and regulations, and helping you to protect you and your business from liability under the Good Samaritan Law.