A heart attack is one of the biggest causes of death worldwide. It runs in families, so people whose parents or uncles have heart disease are at risk. However, very few people know what to do in case of a heart attack.
One way to save a person who goes through a heart attack is to restore their heartbeat through an automated external defibrillator or AED.
If you have arrhythmia – a heart condition where the heartbeat becomes too fast or slow, you can use a defibrillator. The device can restore your heartbeat by giving you an electric shock. It can also restart your heart in case of a heart attack.
There are many types of defibrillators, like AED, which is an external device, or ICD, which is placed inside your chest. Anyone can use an Automated External Defibrillator or AED as It doesn’t require technical knowledge. But you should store it in an appropriate outdoor defibrillator cabinet. Read on to learn more about choosing defibrillator cabinets.
How to Choose an Outdoor Defibrillator Cabinet That Meets Your Needs
You must consider several factors when choosing the best defibrillator cabinet.
Your outdoor defibrillator cabinet will be in a public place where anyone can access it in an emergency. However, this also means people can vandalize or even steal it. So, you should buy an AED cabinet with a good locking mechanism.
You need to maintain your AED’s surrounding temperature and moisture levels. An outdoor cabinet for the defibrillator can keep the AED’s environment constant. It will also protect it from harsh weather like snow and rain.
When choosing outdoor defibrillator cabinet accessories, you should go for maximum safety and protection from environmental factors. You should also consider the cost of defibrillator cabinets, as they can be expensive.
You will need to maintain the cabinet and ensure it works appropriately. When choosing your outdoor defibrillator cabinet, consider the maintenance of defibrillator cabinets too. Choose ones that you can maintain easily.
Consider the following when making your choice:
Your defibrillator cabinet dimensions are a vital factor: the cabinet should be large enough to accommodate the AED. The ideal size will depend on your AED’s dimensions. Ensure the box is big enough for someone to read its label from a distance, so they know it’s a defibrillator cabinet.
You should choose unbreakable materials for your outdoor defibrillator cabinet. Thieves and vandals can damage your cabinet, as can extreme weather and strong winds. Use durable materials, like stainless steel and reinforced plastics.
3. Locking Mechanism
Some outdoor defibrillator cabinets are open-for-all and don’t have a lock. They are more convenient in an emergency, but the security risk is higher.
Other defibrillator cabinets have either a key lock or an electronic lock. Evaluate your needs to determine which one is better for you. If you choose a key lock, place its key somewhere authorized personnel can quickly access it in an emergency.
Choose an easily visible emergency cabinet that an ordinary person can locate. Your AED cabinet should be brightly colored, so it catches the eye. Go for green and yellow colors, and ensure it is placed somewhere no pole or tree blocks it. Use reflective strips, so it is visible at night too.
The Benefits of Using an Outdoor Defibrillator Cabinet
Using an outdoor defibrillator cabinet has many advantages, for example:
1. Maintenance of the AED
is a sensitive device: any problem with it can make it less efficient and even cause death. So, you should always store your AED in the right conditions.
If the AED is stored at a high temperature, its battery life will decrease. And the device will not be able to produce sufficient energy to restore the heartbeat with a weak battery. Heat will also ruin the AED’s internal components: if they overheat, they can give errors and wrong readings.
A low temperature will also weaken an AED’s battery. It also damages the ‘stickiness’ of the AED’s electrode pads, leaving it unable to deliver the electric charge to the patient. So, always maintain your AED between 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit. A sophisticated outdoor defibrillator cabinet can help you maintain the right temperature.
You should also protect the AED from moisture. Water vapors can get inside the AED, cause corrosion, and weaken the battery. A waterproof defibrillator cabinet will keep humidity in check.
Weather conditions like rain, snow, and hail change the surrounding temperature and humidity and can even damage your defibrillator physically. Make sure you get a weather-resistant outdoor defibrillator cabinet to prevent the weather from damaging your AED.
2. Ease of Access
If your company stores the defibrillator in a closet somewhere inside, finding it will be difficult during an emergency. However, placing it in an outdoor cabinet in a public location will be easier to access.
Outdoor defibrillator cabinets are brightly colored and usually have a heart symbol on them. They catch the eye quickly, so everyone knows where they will find a defibrillator during an emergency. The defibrillator cabinet placement is essential. People can access a public outdoor area more quickly than a closet inside.
3. Protection from Vandalism
As defibrillators are placed in open areas, anyone can steal or vandalize them. A metal defibrillator can prevent this from happening.
These cabinets have a locking mechanism preventing unauthorized people from accessing the defibrillator. They are also made with metals like stainless steel or reinforced plastic, which are difficult to break. A defibrillator cabinet with alarm systems will alert you if someone opens it without authorization.
How to Maintain and Service Your Outdoor Defibrillator Cabinet
You should regularly maintain and service your outdoor defibrillator cabinet. Here are the steps you should take:
1. Clean and Inspect the Cabinet
Your AED cabinet will accumulate dust, dirt, and debris over time. You should regularly inspect the cabinet and clean it. Ideally, buy a cabinet with a cleaning tray. Use a disinfecting solution, like 70% ethanol, to sterilize the cabinet. Also, check the cabinet for any wear and tear or damage. If the cabinet is damaged, you should immediately fix it.
2. Check the Locking Mechanism
The locking mechanism prevents theft and vandalism, so you should regularly check if it works smoothly. Check for any signs of wear and tear. If you use a key lock, lubricate it regularly to prevent rust. If you use an electronic lock, make sure the number pad isn’t faded.
3. Check the Alarm System
A defibrillator cabinet with alarm systems lets you know when it is accessed by unauthorized people. Regularly check your alarm and get it repaired if it isn’t working.
4. Keep a Record
Conduct a maintenance check regularly and maintain records. Make a logbook and clearly state the date of inspection and cabinet status. If you replace a part, note it down to keep track of any warranties.
The Importance of Proper Defibrillator Cabinet Placement and Installation
Your defibrillator cabinet installation must be proper to increase accessibility. Place the cabinet at a height an average person can access. The wall or pole where you mount your cabinet should be publicly accessible. Every second counts when someone is going through cardiac arrest, and a searcher should be able to access the AED as soon as possible.
Your state or country’s laws guide how to install the AED cabinet. They vary from country to country, but most regulations require AED cabinets to be installed in easy-to-access, specific locations. So, improper installation can also lead to legal trouble.
Defibrillators are a vital first aid tool. They should be easily accessible and protected from harsh weather and thieves. A proper outdoor defibrillator cabinet can ensure accessibility and protection.
However, you must install the cabinet properly and maintain it regularly. You should also choose the best defibrillator cabinet according to your needs.