Refreshed AED guidelines aimed at improving reliability, quality of devices

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- You’ll often find automated external defibrillators in public places like airports, schools, gyms, and even casinos. If a person collapses and is given a shock within the first three minutes, the person’s survival rate increases.

When a person collapses, CPR jump starts the heart and the AED will deliver a shock when it senses an abnormal rhythm.

“They’ll deliver the shock that will benefit the electrical rhythm of the heart,” said Tara Wakefield.

Wakefield knows just crucial these AEDs are to saving a life. That’s why she started Kansas City First Aid to help train people on how to use these devices.

The FDA has recently changed its guidelines to improve the quality and reliability of these devices.

“It’s not that the old AEDs are bad, it’s just that it hasn’t been upgraded,” said Wakefield.

A software upgrade is imperative to keep it up to standard. Within nine years, the FDA received about 72,000 reports on failed devices.

“The AED recalls come when they aren’t kept to those standards,” she said.

Despite the changes, if the AEDs are inspected regularly and in good condition, it will work.

From a release:

“The FDA does not intend to premarket approval applications (PMAs) requirements for AEDs until July 29, 2016, as long as manufacturers notify the FDA of their intent to file a PMA by April 29, 2015. The FDA does not intend to enforce the PMA requirement for currently marketed, necessary AED accessories until January 29, 2020.