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Home > EMS News

AED failure prompts D.C. Metro review

Man was later transported to Virginia Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Metro officials confirm one of their Automated External Defibrillators or AED's failed to work on Monday after a Metro rider suffered an apparent heart attack at the Pentagon Station. 51-year old Eugene McCrea was later transported to Virginia Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said, "It is certainly unfortunate that it was not there and in a working condition."

The AED's battery was not charged and wasn't able to fire off enough current to give the victim a shock. It's not known  if the AED would have saved the man's life, but the failure has prompted Metro officials to check all of their 46 AED's throughout their stations. That review was ordered to be completed within a 24 hour time frame.

Stessel said, "The AED's are designed to work when you need them most, and we want to make sure that happens."

While the review of current AED machines was ordered as a direct response to the failed AED on Monday, Metro was already moving to revamp their AED program.

Metro officials say all outdated AED's will be replaced with new models by April 30.


The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
George Yaworski George Yaworski Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:29:21 AM Now here is the big question....... Metro put in a bunch of PAD AED machines, did Metro also institute a maintenance check to see that the batteries and pads had not expired?
David Lavallee David Lavallee Wednesday, April 25, 2012 6:18:25 PM The AED didn't fail to work. They failed to maintain the AED. You have to have a maintainence program to assure they will work properly when needed
Douglas Comstock Douglas Comstock Thursday, April 26, 2012 6:58:31 AM I agree, the AEDs were not properly maintained. However, responsible manufacturers understand that many times AEDs are NOT properly maintained. Therefore it is critical that a high level of automatic self-testing of the AED is done without human intervention. It is essential that the AED self-test (optimally daily) all critical components of the AED. Battery Capacity Pad Presense and Functionality. Internal Circuitry If any of the system components are not working as they should the deivce must give a visual and more importantly an audible alert that the device requires attention. While all AEDs tell you that they self-test the reality is that some do a much more comprehensive job then others do. The question you want to ask when you buy and AED is not whether it self tests or not but. 1. What does your AED self-test. 2. How often does your AED self-test. 3. How intense is the self-test? 4. Does your AED offer audible as well as visual alerts when deivce needs service?

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