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Best AEDs For 2023 Reviewed

AED’s can make the difference between life or death. Having an AED saves precious time and gives a victim of sudden cardiac arrest the best chance of life.

While all AED’s do the same thing, they can vary greatly in price and features. We will discuss what you need to know to decide which AED is the best fit for you, your school, church, or business.

Review of the Top FDA Approved AED’s in 2023:

We have selected the top 7 AED’s on the U.S. Market. These are chosen because they are the only FDA approved AED’s on the market:

Philips AED’s: We will still review these, because they have a great product. However, there have been significant delays on restocking these since 2020. They should not be considered unless you know they are available and you can get accessories with them.

Cardiac Science Powerheart® G5 AED

The Powerheart G5 is ideal for public access or first responders. The Powerheart was the first FDA approved AED with a fully automatic shock delivery, dual-language capabilities, changeable increasing energy, and rapid shock times. It is unique in that once turned on it is ready to deliver a shock within 10 seconds. Meanwhile other AED’s take more time to charge prior to being able to shock. 

This AED was designed to meet the needs of first responders but it is also simple enough to be used by anyone. The Powerheart G5 is priced at $1,920.00 and is well worth your investment.

 Defibtech Lifeline AED

The Defibtech Lifeline AED is ever popular with fire departments and first responders. It has a clean, non intimidating, straightforward design. The Defibtech is a durable, reliable, and effective AED. You should have no doubts that this AED is capable of operating in any environment, thanks to its resilient and simplistic design.

This AED features precise and clear voice prompts that will walk users through each step of using the AED. Some AED’s can seem a bit intimidating to use due to their intricate designs, but this isn’t the case with the Lifeline AED from Defibtech.

The Defibtech Lifeline weighs 4.4lbs and is lightweight, weighing less than most AED’s. The AED is low maintenance and performs daily self tests to ensure its functionality and indicates it is in working order with an indication light. The Defibtech Lifeline is the most inexpensive AED retailing for $1,315.

HeartSine® Samaritan® PAD 350P

The HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P is meant to be a simple, compact, and effective AED that’s designed to offer every single thing that one would expect from a high-end AED. This is the AED we most often recommend to people looking for an AED for their home, church, or workplace. 

The HeartSine AED is the most user friendly AED on the market. The HeartSine offers real-time coaching which will walk anyone through the steps to use the machine. The design revolves around two buttons: one button to turn on and one button to shock. This AED is lightweight and has a very small footprint making it easy to place in any public location or to carry for travel. It’s reasonably priced at $1350 and offers a warranty period of up to 8 years, the maximum of any AED. 

 Physio-Control LIFEPAK® CR2

The Physio-Control Lifepak CR2 features simple graphics and voice instructions. This AED is most used by schools and churches due to its dual language functionality. This easy to use device is meant to used by those with little to no medical experience, also making it a perfect AED to keep in your school or church.

The LIFEPAK connects to WiFi to record and report data as the AED is in use. Additionally, the Physio Control LIFEPAK CR2 Defibrillator is the only AED that enables CPR compressions during the heart rhythm analysis process. Every minute a patient does not have hands on care decreases their likelihood of survival. This unique feature allows for maximum hands on time.

The Lifepak CR2 has a cost of $1,895 and includes an 8 year warranty.

Zoll AED Plus

The Zoll AED Plus is undoubtedly one of the best products in its class. It truly raises the bar for AEDs as a whole thanks to their intuitive design and is popular amongst institutions that can afford its higher price tag.

This AED features an IP55 rating which means it has the ability to withstand challenging conditions such as extreme heights or temperature. This is important for people working in rural settings, camps, or traveling in the outdoors with an AED.

This AED comes with real-time CPR assistance that guides users through the entire process and provides actual feedback through which one can determine what they’re doing wrong and what they can do to fix it. The pads and batteries of the Zoll AED Plus are rated to have a shelf-life of 5 years, and the warranty of the Zoll AED Plus itself can be up to 7 years.

This AED is priced at $1999, and it’s slightly heavier than others at a weight of 6.7lbs, but this is to be expected considering its feature-rich design.

Philips FR3 AED

The HeartStart FR3 is one of the most technologically advanced AEDs and is semi-automatic. This AED is recommended for medical professionals and features advanced ECG guidance. This AED is not for use by lay responders.

A major highlight of the HeartStart FR3 is that it’s small and lightweight, weighing in at 3.8 lbs. Its compact size makes it one of the best choices to use in tight situations where a swift and effective response is critical to saving a life. The Heartstart FR3 has a high IP rating, meaning it will operate effectively even in harsh environments. 

The price tag for this AED is $2,990. This is the most expensive AED we sell, and you definitely get what you pay for in this AED designed for advanced responders..

Philips HeartStart FRx AED

The Phillips HeartStart FRx AED is another great product designed to be simple and effective.  The Philips HeartStart FRx defibrillator helps save lives by providing guidance as users administer an electric shock through the chest to the heart of patients during cardiac emergencies. This AED features a higher IP rating then the Phillips Onsite AED and is more ideal for users familiar with it or people traveling with an AED.

Unfortunately Phillips Heartstart FRx and some of its accessories are indefinitely backordered. 

Philips HeartStart OnSite AED

Philips designed the HeartStart Onsite AED for the ‘ordinary person in the extraordinary moment’ and this description flawlessly captures the essence of this AED because, even with absolutely zero training with AEDs, you can effectively use this device by following the prompts.

We all love when electronics come with the batteries included and the Philips Heartstart delivers! The Heartstart comes ready for use with a battery pre-installed and is immediately ready to be reused. After turning the AED on, users are guided via voice instructions giving step by step directions and automatically detecting when the steps are completed.

The device itself is fairly small and comes with a case to make it easily portable. This AED is priced competitively at $1,470 and comes with a considerable warranty period of 8 years, starting from the date of shipment. 


Any of the AED’s above are good options that we stand behind. Depending on your location and experience level you can narrow down the few that may be a good fit for you. If you aren’t sure what’s best for you still, please get in touch and we’re happy to discuss the differences.

If you skipped to the end of the article because its TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) and want to know what to buy… We recommend the HeartSine Samaritan AED to 90% of people and it would probably be a great fit for you too!



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Can You Use Pediatric/Child AED Pads on an Adult?

While it’s uncommon, there are circumstances when people find their AED to not have working adult pads. Typically this is because the adult pads have been used or expired. So, the question arises… In the situation where there are no adult AED pads, would it be acceptable to use child AED pads?

We will discuss the American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines and the difference between adult and child AED pads. Finally, we will present the arguments for and against using child pads on adult victims of sudden cardiac arrest. We do present a conclusive answer to this question. Read on to find out!

American Heart Association Guidelines

To begin, let’s discuss the AHA guidelines that speak to this topic. In all courses that cover cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), proper AED use is taught. The guidelines are fairly simple in that responders should first turn on and then follow the prompts from the AED.

The AED will usually give vocal prompts on where to place pads. Next, the AED will tell the responder to step back so it can analyze the heart rhythm. Finally, the AED will advise on whether or not you should continue CPR or deliver a shock to the patient. Depending on if the AED is automatic or semi-automatic, you may need to push a button to deliver the shock.

However, in this process, it is up to the user to discern whether or not to use adult or child pads. The AHA advises that children include anyone who has not experienced puberty, notated by breast development and hair growth. However, the AHA guidelines state that if there are no child pads, adult pads can be used on a child. The guidelines conversely say, “Do not use the child pads for an adult.”

At this point it’s important to note that any AHA instructor should only teach what is in the guidelines given by the AHA during an AHA course. AHA courses and materials are copyrighted and additional segments should not be added to the course. However, The AHA does permit adding content before or after class as long as it is remarked that the content is not from the AHA.

The Difference Between Adult and Child Pads

Various AED’s have different ways of functioning, however in most AED’s, the child pads essentially throttle the shock given to the victim. Typically, on child SCA victims, an AED puts out 50 Joules in pediatric mode. However, with adults pads, 150 Joules is the typical output from an AED. While adult pads can be used on children when no pediatric pads are available, it is generally accepted that pediatric AED pads are not useful on adults.

The AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) student manual reads “Child pads deliver a shock dose that is too low for an adult and will likely not be successful.”

The Argument For Using Child Pads on an Adult

Any experienced CPR instructor, will inevitably be asked ‘Can I use child/pediatric pads on an Adult CPR Victim?’ The most straightforward answer to this question should be that the AHA guidelines do not recommend this. However, instead of this, many make the assumption that ‘Child pads are better than no pads.’ The assumption is that, you might as well try. It’s unlikely that you are going to make a dead persons condition worse, right?

So, the question is, could 50 Joules be enough to change an adults heart rhythm? The short answer is probably not. However, isn’t something better than nothing? There’s always a chance anything could happen, but speaking on the science that is known- we would not recommend this path.

The Argument For NOT Using Child Pads on an Adult

When performing CPR, there is a big emphasis on minimizing hands off time with a victim. The AHA guidelines suggest an 80% Chest Compression Rate. This means that during the course of CPR, hands should be performing chest compressions 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time may be used for using an AED or delivering rescue breaths.

In the event you don’t have a functioning AED, the chest compression fraction should be hire than 80%. A responders job during CPR is first and foremost to keep blood circulating through the body. If you are spending time fiddling with an AED that is not properly equipped for your victim, then you are losing time where blood could be circulated. For every second without blood circulation, victims are losing brain and heart cells. With only a slim chance that an AED could be effective, you are putting the victim in a worse position.

The AHA BLS guidelines also tell us, “It is better to provide high-quality CPR than to attempt to shock and adult victim with child pads.”


The AHA guidelines does not advise using pediatric AED pads on adults. While some people may think it’s ‘worth a shot,’ the time lost trying could be used performing CPR and circulating the victim’s blood to vital organs.

Furthermore, while this question is worth discussing, it’s important to note that the circumstances this scenario may arise in are slim. The most popular AED’s on the market: Defibtech, Heartsine, and Zoll all come with just adult pads. AED’s are usually sold only with adult pads. You will have an option to also purchase pediatric or child pads as well. It is unlikely someone would have child/pediatric AED pads instead of adults.

Learn More: AED IP Ratings Explained

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AED Certification

Every AED owner should get AED certification. AED’s are becoming standard safety equipment in private and public buildings across the U.S. If you have a defibrillator or work at a place with one, it’s important to be familiar with how to use them. AED’s are very simple and easy to use, but being trained in how to use one can save precious seconds for victims of cardiac arrest.

What is Included in AED Certification?

AED Certification is typically a 2 hour class and includes CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training. The course will cover how to recognize sudden cardiac arrest, perform hands only CPR, and how to perform CPR with compressions and breaths.  AED training will also cover when to use an AED, how to follow the AED directions, and other considerations. AED training will teach the differences on using an AED for adults, children, and infants.

There is no age requirement for CPR & AED training. However, to receive a certification, students must be able to pass skill tests with their instructor. In most cases children ages 8 and up that are mature enough to attend a two hour course benefit from the training. However, the physical skills in CPR training can be difficult for anyone under the age of 12 to perform.

How Long Does AED Certification  Last?

The skills taught in AED training should be fairly simple to remember. However, both the AHA and Red Cross’s CPR and AED certifications expire after two years. If your workplace or licensure requires your certification be maintained, you will need to renew every two years. While this may be frustrating, studies have shown that “even healthcare professionals, who are required to renew CPR skill certification every 2 years, perform optimal chest compressions just 28% of the time without CPR quality feedback, and only improve to 50% with feedback.” (Citation: AHA Journal)

Can I take just AED Certification?

Currently, the AHA and Red Cross only provide AED certification to people who also take CPR certification. These skill sets go hand in hand with each skill being just as important. While an AED can provide a shock that may revive the heart, if it does not work, CPR skills are invaluable to keep blood flowing in the victims body and their vital organs working.

Can I get AED Certified Online?

The American Heart Association (AHA) does offer online CPR/AED training. However, this training is not complete until the student attends an in person skills session with the instructor. The AHA calls these classes ‘Heartcode’ and they give the same certification card that students get when they take the full class in person. After completing the online course students will get a partial completion certificate but it is not a certification card. To be fully certified in CPR and AED skills you must also attend an in person session with an instructor.

If you are a Healthcare Provider, looking to take Basic Life Support CPR & AED training online, you will want to purchase the AHA Heartcode BLS course. For people not in the medical field looking to take CPR/AED Certification, you would purchase the AHA Heartcode Heartsaver CPR/AED course. Once you have completed the AHA Heartcode course you can meet with a local AHA instructor to get fully checked off to receive certification.

Be aware, there are some companies that advertise online only AED training. Please note this is not generally accepted or recognized to meet AED certification requirements.

If I Have an AED, Do I Have to Have AED Certification?

AED’s are regulated by local state authorities. To find out what your state requires, read State Laws on Cardiac Arrest and Defibrillators. Generally states require at minimum:

  • Physician oversight of an AED
  • the AED be registered
  • Any potential AED users be certified in CPR and First Aid.
  • The AED be regularly maintained
  • EMS be activated upon use of an AED.

If you do not have AED Program Management, you should watch this video to learn more about the helpful service that helps maintain your compliance:

Where to Find AED Certification?

AED and CPR certification is widely available and generally easy to find throughout the U.S. You can search for accredited American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC) instructors on Class Eagle. Class Eagle is a free health and safety instructor directory that connects students and instructors to help increase the amount of people with lifesaving training.

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AED Program Management

aed program mangement

AED Program Management Explained

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program management. Maybe you’ve heard of it; maybe you haven’t. Maybe you are just curious about what it is! If you are in the market for an AED or you already have one, you need to know about program management.

You may know you can go online to Amazon and purchase an AED pretty easily. In this kind of transaction, you likely won’t see anything mentioned about program management. However, what most do not realize, is that every state in the country has regulations for people who own an AED. Similar to buying a car, the owner is responsible for making sure it’s in working order and has proper insurance and checks. 

AED Program Management provides valuable guidance to help you comply with federal and state laws. The software enables you to effectively maintain one to 100 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for your home, business or organization. AED Program Management service helps you ensure that all your AEDs are ready for use during cardiac emergencies so you can save lives.

Legal Compliance

State regulations for AED’s usually includes writing an emergency action plan and submitting that emergency action plan to your local health department or EMS agency. Additional state requirements include monthly checks similar to a fire extinguisher. Many state’s also require a physicians prescription for the AED. 

Each of these items are necessary and required. If you don’t have these items in place and are not keeping compliant with your state, it makes you liable for legal ramifications. AED program management helps relieve your liability and insure you are in compliance with all laws.

Benefits of AED Program Management

Beyond putting you in compliance, AED Program Management helps ensure that your AED is ready to be used at anytime. We commonly talk with AED owners who assume that their AED is functioning, but don’t realize that some of the parts have expired and rendered it ineffective. An AED without functioning pads or batteries is useless. There is no worse feeling than going to use your AED in a moment of need and finding out it’s not working.

AED Program Management uses software to make sure that you order replacement parts when needed. It also makes sure you order the right replacement parts as not all AED’s use the same parts. (This is another common error we see)

How Does AED Program Management Work?

Program Management may come in different forms:

  • Paper-based records such as manual notes and spreadsheets
  • Digital or paper calendar reminders that record significant dates in your maintenance schedule
  • Software programs that let you manage single or multiple AEDS in various locations

Paper documents and simple calendar reminders may be useful in a basic way. However, they are limited because they largely depend on human memory to stay updated. This can be a big issue when the person responsible for the AED changes as well.

A software subscription to AED Program Management is a superior comprehensive solution for AED owners. It makes it possible for you to maintain the proper functionality of your AEDs in an accurate, efficient way. It also effectively safeguards you from possible liabilities related to AED usage.

Professional guidance is a necessity for AED owners because it allows healthcare experts to oversee your program. It gives physicians the chance to review the data generated by your AED machine during a cardiac emergency and for everyone to achieve the common goal of doing everything we can to save a life.

These are some types of organizations that can take advantage of AED Program Management:

  • Companies
  • Small Businesses
  • Churches
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Social Clubs

How Much is AED Program Management?

Through AED Source, you can pay a flat monthly or annual fee. ($179 year.) For this, a team of people make sure that whatever your state’s requirements are, you are in compliance with them. Most of the time program management includes some post event services. Post event services are for when you use the AED.  We overnight you a box with a new AED in it so that you are never without one. This used AED will be refurbished and have a report  pulled off the data that’s stored on the AED. A physician’s report will be written so you can give the patients care team insight into the cardiac event. You will also be able to store the report for your record if necessary. 

AED program management is super helpful and takes the burden off of you and keeps you compliant and keeps everyone safe.

Learn More: Watch AED IP Ratings Explained.

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Important Accessories to Buy With Your AED

Curaplex Stop The Bleed Metal Wall Cabinet

What Accessories do you need with an AED?

There are many AED accessories out there, but you may or may not need any depending on your situation. Generally, AED’s come with everything you need to use it when it’s purchased. However, if you are working in a rural area, working with children, in a public setting, there may be additional accessories needed.

Soft Carrying Case

The main accessory that usually comes with an AED is a soft carrying case. It is unlikely that you would need to purchase a case for your AED.  A soft carry case usually does the job for most people. However, there are hard cases, similar to pelican cases, that you can put an AED in if you are traveling or work in an environment like a water park where you are a little more worried about water affecting your AED. 

Wall Cabinets

Another option for storage is a wall cabinet. The wall cabinets are great, especially if you work in an office. However, if you are getting and AED for your home or car then a wall cabinet would not be helpful. However, the majority of AED’s are purchased by living facilities, offices, churches, schools where a wall cabinet is going to be a standard accessory.

Wall cabinets range in price from $139-$229 depending on if you want features like an alarm or various signage. The most basic cabinet is usually sufficient and can be viewed here.

Rescue Kits

If you are purchasing a wall cabinet for your AED, this is a great place to add on some additional life saving supplies. First Responder kits come in little pouches and include a razor, gloves, face mask, maybe some wipes, and a few other little things.  We highly recommend these kits because they go hand in hand with use of an AED. You should not be doing any kind of a medical procedure or first aid on somebody without gloves. 8900-0807-01

Additionally, when you go to do CPR and or apply an AED you need to be working on a bare chest. Therefore, having scissors is super handy to remove bras and clothing. The included razor may also be necessary for guys who have a lot of hair on their chest and otherwise could not have the AED pads adhered to them.

If you are trained in CPR and you want to give breaths to the person- everything you need is in a CPR/AED rescue kit and retails around $29.

AED Signs, Decals, and Posters

If you invest in an AED, you want to make sure that people can find the AED and use it in the event of an emergency. AED signs or decals can be positioned to place next to the AED. Additionally posters can show how to perform CPR for somebody who’s untrained.

The most commonly purchased AED accessory is an AED wall sign. These are fairly inexpensive at $14 and easy to install. RespondER® Flexible AED Wall Sign - Black & Red on White

AED Program Management

AED maintenance programs are essential to your organization because they free you from the burden of manually keeping track of your AED maintenance schedule. AED Source offers program management that automates the AED management process. These are some of the benefits of having an AED maintenance plan in place:

aed program mangement
AED Program Management
  • Maintaining quality control even if you have multiple defibrillator machines spread out in different locations
  • Ensuring that your AEDs are properly functioning over the months and years. This could make a crucial impact during emergency circumstances when you need to provide basic medical assistance to cardiac patients.
  • Facing auditors confidently by presenting them with a detailed report that you can generate conveniently through our program
  • Staying covered by the Good Samaritan laws of your state
  • Transitioning AED duties easily to new AED managers through the proper documentation recorded by the program

Program Management is $179 a year and ensures your AED is in compliance. AED’s purchased through AED Source are given this software for free for the first year.

Pediatric Pads

Most AED’s come with adult pads, but need to have pediatric pads purchased separately. Pediatric Pads deliver less electricity to shock a childs heart than adult pads do. Pads are specific to each AED and need to be the same brand and type. You can search for pediatric pads by brand here.

Additionally, pads are single use. If your AED is used often, you will want to have additional pads on hand. Pads vary in price (by brand) from $55-$500 a set.

Defibtech Lifeline Pediatric Pads
Defibtech Lifeline Pediatric Pads


When an AED delivers a shock, it gets its power from the battery. Most batteries can operate shocking a victim every few minutes for 4-8 hours. This is more than enough for a single use where individuals have quick access to EMS. However, if you are in an area where EMS access may be delayed, having additional batteries can be useful. Furthermore, if you are in a facility that frequently uses an AED, you will want to replace the battery after each use and ensure a fresh battery.

Batteries are brand specific and not interchangeable. These vary in price from $180-$300.


At a minimum we believe a basic cabinet, first responder kit, and AED program management are your three must have accessories. If you have questions about what accessories you should get or which ones are appropriate for your situation feel free to send us your questions. 

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The Hidden Cost of AED’s

Okay, let’s shoot straight here. We aren’t trying to scare anyone off from buying an AED by talking about the ‘hidden costs.’ AED’s are often more affordable than people think even with all considerations taken. However, similar to buying a car- if you haven’t done it before you might not realize the additional purchases that come along with a car. By all means, you still benefit from purchasing the item however it’s helpful to be prepared and able to make the purchase knowledgeably. You wouldn’t want a car without wheels and you probably don’t want an AED without the pads.

The Hidden Cost of AEDs   

Here’s what people do not realize- when you buy an AED the AED usually comes with pads and batteries that are required for it to operate. You are set for awhile. However, batteries and pads are parts that have an expiration date usually 2-5 years after purchase depending on the AED. 

If you buy an AED because it was the cheapest, but the pads and batteries need to be replaced every two years over the course of eight years (the typical length of a warranty) you might actually be paying more for that product. Be sure to look at more than the cost of the AED but the cost of replacement pads and batteries. This can be exhausting, but we’ve already done the work for you. View our AED comparison chart here.

Cost of Accessories

Most people buy more than just an AED. A standard accessory, that we highly recommend, is a cabinet that you can put it on a wall. AED cabinets cost anywhere from about $120 to $250. The cost depends on what you get and what kind of bells and whistles you want on it. You can view our curated selection of cabinets here.  


Additional accessories that makes sense to be stored with an AED are First Aid supplies. One that we recommend for Public Spaces is a ‘Bleeding Control’ kit. These kits will include the necessary items to stop bleeding emergencies.

A first responder kit is another great accessory. It’s a very practical kit that is usually contained in a small nylon pouch. Included are scissors, gloves, and a mask to do breathes.

There are a lot of different types of accessories that are available when you purchase an AED. More than likely you are going to want to purchase some of those as they can aid in the use of the AED. 

Replacement Parts

Sometimes it is prudent to purchase replacement parts, such as batteries and pads, ahead of time. For example, facilities who routinely use their AED will want to have replacement parts on hand so their unit is not rendered inoperable from the time it’s used until replacement parts come in. This is most common in rehabilitation facilities or assisted living facilities. Other people that are traveling remotely or far away from resupply opportunities, purchase replacement parts for the event they need to use their AED.

It’s important to note that these items are sold with expiration dates based on when they were manufactured, not purchased. This is similar to carseats with an 8 year period of use before they expire. If the car seat was manufactured in 2015, it expires in 2023 regardless if it was purchased in 2015 or 2020 and regardless of use.

Program Management 

Lastly, a final cost every AED owner should consider in ‘Program Management.’ Every AED that is purchased falls under state regulation.  Of course, every state has slightly different regulations. However, every state does require a prescription to own an AED. Another basic requirement is that you keep a log of the AED’s use and maintenance to know if inspected that it’s in good standing. If you are not willing to meet these requirements on your own, you should purchase a program management software for the AED. 

Program Management is almost always the best option for small and larger organizations with an AED. Many places experience employee or volunteer turnover in their facility and keeping up with the AED can be forgotten. AED Program Management will allow the responsibility to be easily passed from person to person without overwhelming or confusing anyone.

Furthermore, program management makes sure your investment in this lifesaving device is actually effective. The worst case with an AED is to have one during an emergency, and then find out it’s battery expired! No one should ever be in that position and program management helps ensure this.

Total Cost

To find your total cost of an AED, add up the following:

  • AED New Unit Cost (Includes pads & batteries)
  • Back up batteries
  • Pediatric Pads (Most AED’s only come with adult pads)
  • AED Cabinet
  • AED First Responder Accessories
  • AED Program Management

Final Considerations

The biggest takeaway when examining the hidden costs of an AED, should be to add up the cost of every item. Factor in the cost of additional accessories and services as well as itemized parts that need to be replaced over time. Look at more than just the face value of an item and take all things into consideration. 

Again, this should not be overwhelming! We’ve done the work for you in our AED Comparison chart here. 

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What is Pre-Market Approval for AED’s?

Philips HeartStart FRx AED

Pre-Market Approval for AED’s is something that has been in the works since 2015. The FDA wanted to be more stringent on AED reliability and make sure that manufacturers were keeping up with their AEDs while assuring quality. Medical equipment, and AED’s need to go through rigorous testing before being put on the market. Because of this, the FDA came up with PMA- Pre-Market Approval- and manufacturers of the AEDs and AED accessories are required to submit a PMA application for their product.

Pre Market Approval Application Process:

The Pre-Market Approval process has several steps involved in it. There are certain AED units where manufacturers decided it was not worth their time to go through all the requirements by the FDA. These manufacturer’s never submitted a PMA application for their AED device that was sold prior to this requirement. Because of this,  you may have an AED that is not PMA approved or never received a PMA. 

Having an AED without PMA, does not inhibit you from using your AED, however it means that if you try to purchase another one it will no longer be available on the market. This includes the accessories as well: pads and batteries. Because pads and batteries usually have no more than a two to three year shelf life, you are going to be forced to have to find a new AED unit altogether. 

It is possible to still find some AED’s and accessories without PMA for sale. Distributors are still able to sell what they have already purchased but can not purchase more. So, if you’re lucky enough to find what you need- that’s great. However, once the products are gone, they are gone. This may force you to upgrade your device. You can find a cost comparison chart of all AED’s with PMA and their accessories here.

How Will I Know If My AED is approved or not?

There’s a whole list of AEDs that you can find online of approved ones and  you can find unapproved lists as well.  Some of the more common AED units that are on the unapproved list are going to be the Lifepak 500, the Welch-Allen 10 and 

350-BAC-US-10 HeartSine® Samaritan® PAD 350P, 360P, 450P (Hidden Variable Product)

20 series,  the Phillips FR2 and the HeartSine 300, as well as  some old Cardiac Science units as well. Pay attention to the series numbers behind the unit because most manufacturers have come out with new units that have the same name but a different series number.

If you think you might not have a PMA approved AED, you should go ahead and check and be aware if you may have to purchase a new unit in the next six months to a year. This will help you start planning and saving towards that.  AED Source offers some really affordable options as well as financing.

The Heartsine Samaritan PAD 350 is one of the most popular on the market recently. It is very compact and ideal for schools, churches, or people who may be traveling with an AED. The next most popular AED with Pre Market Approval is the ZOLL AED Plus. You’ve probably seen this one at your local gym, airport, or community center. They are large and very visible. The Zoll tends to be a fan favorite with it’s bells and whistles!

Watch this video to learn more about PMA:

Visit us at AED Source for all your AED and AED Accessory needs. We are happy to help you.

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When to Replace an Old AED


Owning an AED is a great choice. If you own an AED currently or are looking to possibly buy a used AED, we want to help. Let us help you understand when AED’s are considered old and when to replace an AED.

How Old is Old for an AED?

AEDs, like any other technology, will age.  However, they do not age as quickly as some other technology, like a cell phone for instance. Additionally, AED’s generally do not get the same use other household electronics get. So while your three year old iPhone seems old to you, your three year old AED will still be very new. So when do you replace an AED? AED’s are considered ‘old’ around the time the manufacturers warranty is close to expiring. This is usually around 7-8 years.

An AED should still function when the manufacturers warranty expires. However, like a car- when you’re looking for something reliable, many people opt to replace it. There is no ‘expiration date’ on an AED unit as a whole but the warranties do expire. 

350-BAC-US-GW HeartSine® Samaritan® PAD 350P, 360P, 450P (Hidden Variable Product)Often, people get confused about the different types of defibrillators. AED’s are just one type of defibrillator. AED stands for ‘Automated External Defibrillator.’ There are manual external defibrillators (like you see in E.R.), manual internal defibrillators, implantable cardioverter- defibrillators (Pacemakers), wearable cardiac defibrillators, and finally, Automatic External Defibrillators. You can learn more about these in our article ‘What are the different types of defibrillators?’

What’s New with modern AED’s?

Long gone are the days of large, cumbersome AEDs. As technology has advanced, so have AEDs. Most AED’s now weigh just a few pounds, have batteries designed to outlive any other, and are made out of materials designed to last much longer than just traditional plastics. Modern AED’s also contain additional sensors to record data that helps first responders and manufactures assure the best performance of the device.DCF-A2313EN Defibtech Lifeline View AED (Hidden Variable Product)

Reliability and Liability 


Proper management of your AED is important, but thankfully fairly simple. Your AED should be regularly checked to make sure it is still working. You also will want to make sure to replace the pads and batteries before they expire. Typically, AED’s have batteries that last at least a couple years and the pads are the same way. Because this is a medical device, the batteries and pads both have a stamped expiration date and even if the items may be operable, there is no guarantee and therefore the dates should be strictly adhered to. 

Furthermore, when you have equipment like an AED, proper management reduces your liability substantially. While there isn’t great liability that comes with owning an AED, there have been lawsuits regarding them being available and functional in emergencies.

According to Athea Law: “AED lawsuits are immensely fact-specific claims subject to laws that vary by jurisdiction. In general, there are some common scenarios involved in litigating these cases:

  1. Premises owners had no AED on their property in violation of statutory law or the duty of care owed to guest, particularly in situations where
  2. An AED was present, but employees on site were prevented from using them by managers or not informed about their location, how to use them, or Good Samaritan Laws.
  3. AEDs failed to function as intended due to product defects or improper / negligent maintenance.

In cases where there are no clear violations of statutes, there may be opportunities to argue liability based on common law duties, negligence, and premises liability.”

Many property managers have legal obligations to protect against risks of harm, and the increased number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year may make it a foreseeable risk. Furthermore, risks may be more pronounced in certain settings, such as gyms or large and isolated premises that EMS cannot quickly access.

Is your AED FDA approved?

The FDA gives premarket approval for medical devices such as AED’s to be sold. Premarket approval is the FDA process of scientific and regulatory review to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these medical devices. Any medical device that is used to support or sustain human life is required to have premarket approval before being sold.

However, many AED’s were sold prior to 2015 when premarket approval was put in place. Not all AEDs have since been approved so let us list a few of our favorite FDA-compliant ones: 

All of the AED’s at AED Source have full FDA approval for the devices and accessories.

Recommended Replacement 

Most modern AEDs can outlast the typical eight year warranty. However, it’s best practice to replace your AED when the warranty expires. The effectiveness of AED’s after their warranty period has not been well researched, studied, or guaranteed. Therefore, there is no way to certify the effectiveness of an old AED. While there are no hard and fast rules or requirements on when to replace an old AED, this is a good rule of thumb.

AED Program Management

AED program management will help ensure that your AED is always in working order. Using AED program management will help put you at ease in regards to the effectiveness of your AED. Program Management Software will let you know when to replace aed parts such as the pads and batteries. Program Management  can also cover the cost of repairing your AED or getting a new AED after using your AED in a cardiac event.  To learn more about AED program management watch this video:


Knowing when to replace an AED is important. Make sure you check the warranty, use program management and keep the batteries ready to go.  A faulty AED can mean the difference between life and death so make sure you head over to AED Source to get any AEDs and Accessories you need.

Learn more about all the essentials to go with your AED in this video:


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How Long Do Defibrillators Last?

Zoll AED Plus Semi-Automatic

How long do defibrillators last? 

There are hundreds of different AED’s that perform for a wide variety of functions. Each AED may have a different length of time that it will last. An AED owned by a church that is stored in an AED cabinet and rarely used will last much longer than an AED kept in the back of an ambulance or police car.

Do defibrillators have an expiration date?

Individual AED units do not have set expiration dates. However, defibrillators do have expiration dates on the batteries and pads that allow them to work. Pads will usually last 2-5 years depending on when they were purchased and what brand they are. Batteries have a longer life span than pads and how long they last is determined by frequency of use and the model. Most batteries are recommended to be changed every 5-8 years in any AED, even those that have been unused. Powerheart G3 AED trainer replacement battery case

It is important to note that batteries and pads are not interchangeable amongst brands. Simply purchasing a longer lasting batter for a different brand of AED will render your AED useless in an emergency. Likewise, AED pads are the same way. For example, if you have a Cardiac Science AED then you need Cardiac Science AED pads. 

What defibrillators last the longest ?

Zoll AED Plus Semi-AutomaticThe most popular and reliable AEDs all have warranties that hover around 7 to 8 years. The Heartsine Samaritan PAD 360 is one of the most popular models on the market has an 8 year warranty as well as the Phillips HeartStart ONSITE. Finally, The Zoll AED Plus is considered one of the best on the market. All of these usually last well past their warranty period.

Final Thoughts

Most AED’s have long warranties and are made to handle their environment. However, it is important that before you consider purchasing an AED, you have a plan for upkeep. The AED should be turned on and checked regularly to make sure it is functioning in the case of an emergency. The pads will also need to be checked and new pads must be ordered in the event of use. AED’s require upkeep to make sure they are ready whenever the time comes. 

Watch this video to learn how to know if your AED still works:

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Do You Need AED Training To Use An AED?

Powerheart G5 with ICPR Fully Auto Dual Language Quick Response Pkg (1) G5 Fully Auto dual language US English / atAm Spanish AED, (1) G5 IntelliSense Battery; (1) sets G5 Intellisense CPR Feedback adult defibrillation pads;(1) Carry Sleeve; (1) AED Manager; (1) USB Cable, (1 set) printed G5 User Guide, Steps To Rescue, Getting Started (ENG), (1 set) printed G5 User Guide, Steps To Rescue, Getting Started (ESP) and multi-lingual Electrode Instructions For UseWhat is an AED?

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are some of the most important live saving equipment around. Modern AEDs are so good at what they do that they can even help those who are not sure of what they are doing in the event of an emergency. To use an AED, all one needs to do is follow the prompts. By following the AED’s directions and using the AED, the AED will increase the patients chance of survival.

Do I need training to operate an AED?

AED’s are made to be so easy to use that they can practically operate themselves. However, it is good due diligence to have staff on site of your location that have been trained in the use of an AED. Training people on how to use the AED will increase the likelihood that people feel comfortable using it in the event of an emergency. Additionally, if people know how to use an AED, it can vastly speed up the process of giving a victim of sudden cardiac arrest the help that they need. Every second matters in these emergencies.

Can anyone buy an AED?

In most places, to buy an AED you need a doctors prescription to purchase it. The only FDA approved AED that does not require a prescription is the Phillips HeartStart Onsite AED.  However, if you do not have a physician’s prescription, you can purchase AED Program Management that will give you physician oversight of your AED and maintain that it is in working order. Read more about AED Program Managment and its benefits at

Are AED’s devices all the same?

While all AED’s may be slightly different in design and features they all are designed to be easy to use in the event of an emergency.  All AED’s operate similarly. Depending on the AED, there may be voice directions, real time data gathering, and the ability to call EMS on its own alongside many other incredible features.

Where can I get AED training?

For those who are looking to practice and learn how to properly use an AED in the event of an emergency, you can attend a CPR & AED class. The most reputable CPR & AED training courses are taught through the American Heart Association (AHA), American Red Cross (ARC), and Health & Safety Institute (HSI). Depending on where you live, one training may be more popular or readily available than the other. Regardless, each of these training brands teach from the latest Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update Guidelines. To get training quotes from instructors that are local in your area, fill out this form on Class Eagle Health & Safety Directory. CPR & AED instructors will reach out to you with information on classes offered near you. You can schedule both public, private, or group classes this way.