A medic urging people to stand clear before administrating an AED to a man laying on the ground.

Warning about faulty defibrillators

Just in case you haven’t already seen the news reports about faulty defibrillators The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a Medical Device Alert for the  LIFEPAK CR Plus or a LIFEPAK EXPRESS Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).

There is a reported electrical fault with some of the above models. The fault is due to an internal component (reed switch) that can intermittently become stuck in the closed position. This could fail to deliver a shock to resuscitate a patient. There are around 2,577 devices reported as defective.

These devices are commonly known as public access defibrillators (PAD) because anyone can use them in an emergency.

The manufacturer, Physio-Control, has sent a safety alert to people with affected defibrillators, with instructions of what to do. And whilst there have been no reported patient incidents, it is important that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed by completing and returning the confirmation sheet immediately. You need to check that the serial number listed in the confirmation sheet matches the serial number on the label located on the back of the device.

When the on/off button is pressed and the lid is opened a voice prompt may fail to initiate. If voice prompts are not activated within 5 seconds, people should remove their device, not use it and contact the manufacturer’s customer support to arrange for the reed switch to be replaced.

If the voice prompt is initiated within 5 seconds, people with affected defibrillators can still use them but should continue to monitor them in line with their routine check process until contacted by the manufacturer, Physio-Control, to arrange for the reed switch to be replaced.

If you have one of these defibrillators and you have not received the manufacturer’s safety alert, you need to locate the serial number on the label on the back of the device and call the manufacturer’s customer support or visit their website  http://www.physio-control.com/ to see if the device is affected.

Director of Medical Devices John Wilkinson at the MHRA says: “These devices deliver life-saving treatment and it is vital they operate correctly when needed in an emergency. Those who are responsible for them should carry out the checks recommended by the manufacturer. If the defibrillator is faulty, please remove it from use.”

If you have any questions, call Physio-Control on 0808 258 0094

For more information about Safe and Sound  CPR and AED training courses call  0208 445 8998  or


For information about purchasing a defibrillator  http://www.safeandsound.uk.net/product/zoll-aed-plus/