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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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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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The True Cost Of A Defibrillator (Including Hidden Costs!)

What is the true cost of a defibrillator? Are there any hidden costs? Discounts? Grants? AED Source investigates pricing, features and where to buy a defibrillator from.


How much does a defibrillator cost?

Automated External Defibrillators are not cheap, but they also probably cost less than you think. A lot goes into making  AEDs as effective as effective as they are: sensors, batteries, internal timers, sometimes even computers to record data and hotspots to be able to relay that data in real time. For an AED, a device capable of saving lives, you can anticipate budgeting $1,300- $2,000.

What is normally included in a defibrillator?

Most AED’s come complete with everything they need. AED’s generally operate with two parts- the pads and batteries. Some AED’s have one or two batteries. If the AED has two batteries it is likely designed that one battery is used daily to check functionality of the AED while the other battery is reserved for power to provide shocks when needed.

AED’s generally come with adult pads. Some may also come with pediatric pads but if not they are available at an additional cost. It’s generally recommended that places where children are at higher risk of cardiac arrest, such as gymnasiums, also supply pediatric pads in their AED’s. However, in the event of pediatric cardiac arrest, adult pads may be used if there are no pediatric pads. Pediatric pads are designed to reduce the shock load given to a victim however, using adult pads would be better than using nothing in the event of an emergency.

Breakdown of defibrillator cost

Most AED’s come with everything they need included. However, depending on how you will use the AED and your particular needs there may be additional items to purchase. Additional but optional items you may want to purchase are:

Additionally, there is a cost to maintain your defibrillator. Similar to a vehicle, AED’s need some parts regularly updated. Because AED’s have an 8 year warranty period we have created a chart that breaks down the 8 year cost of ownership for each model we offer. However, AED’s usually last much longer and don’t need to be replaced unless there is an integral part failure or defect announced by the manufacturer.

AED’s have very few parts but the two parts that need to be regularly checked and kept within their expiration period are the batteries and pads. AED Batteries usually last 4-8 years. AED pads usually last 2-4 years but need to be replaced after each use.

Defibrillator Maintenance Cost

AED maintenance is simple but crucial. Proper maintenance of your device is necessary so that it is ready to go in the event of an emergency. Maintenance involves checking that all AED parts are in order and not expired.

We highly recommend an AED management program to make this task easier and give you peace of mind that your AED is in working order. AED program management is also very helpful for organizations that may have different people responsible for the AED over the years. The software keeps track of all maintenance and alerts you when to buy replacement equipment so if there is a new person taking care of the AED they don’t have to spend time researching its maintenance.

What to look for when choosing a defibrillator

When you look to buy an AED you need to consider your environment and who may be using the AED. Some AEDs are made lightweight and resilient for those who may be hiking deep in the backcountry. Other AED’s may be bulkier but with a simple design to be tossed around in the back of police cars or ambulances. Other AED’s may be bilingual which is a necessary feature at a community center or school.

Evaluating your budget is important as well. Some AED’s are really cool and feature rich but if the cost is more than your organization has to spend there are simply designed AED’s that are just as effective.

Are there any discounts or grants when buying a defibrillator?

Some non-profits make funds available to provide AEDs to schools and community centers free of charge. This varies by state and your type of organization. At the least, non profits should not expect to pay tax on these items which is a substantial cost savings.

Top 3 recommended defibrillators 

  • Most feature rich for first responders: The Powerheart G5 was the first FDA approved AED with a fully automatic shock delivery, dual-language capabilities, changeable increasing energy, and rapid shock times. This AED is designed to meet the advanced needs of first responders but is also simple enough to be used by anyone. 
  • Cost-conscious & Portable: 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 that perfectly serves its purpose. This is a device that absolutely anyone, even someone who’s using it for the first time, will be able to utilize properly thanks to its simplified design. The HeartSine offers real-time coaching which will walk anyone through the steps to use the machine. Alongside its straightforward design this AED is lightweight, has a very small footprint and can easily be placed in any public location.
  • The best community AED: 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, IP55 rating, and ability to withstand challenging conditions such as extreme heights or temperature. This AED also 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

How do you install an AED?

AEDs should be easily accessible. We recommend placing them in a highly visible location. An AED cabinet can be a great option. AED cabinets are installed with just a few screws and a drill. While this is simple for many people, if you wish to hire a contractor to install the cabinet you will want to add this to your cost of a defibrillator.

Conversely, AED’s arrive ready to go from the manufacturer and don’t require any steps for installation. The most important thing to remember when needing to use an AED is simply to turn it on!

What else should be stored with an AED? 

We recommend keeping adult and child pocket masks stored with your AED. While and AED delivers important shocks to help restore the heart to a normal rhythm,  performing CPR is necessary to continue the circulation of blood flow to vital organs. Even more so for children, delivery of breaths is crucial as children are so much more oxygen dependent.

Additionally, we suggest storing a First Aid kit near the AED but not inside an AED case. The AED should be easy to access but should not be accessed as frequently as something like a first aid kit would be.

Watch this video to learn about accessories you may want to purchase with your AED:

Do we need special training? 

While no special training is needed to operate an AED, it is highly recommended. CPR classes will cover how to use and AED on adults, children, and infants. Becoming familiar with the process of using an AED and identifying when it should be used is very helpful. Additionally, learning to do CPR is beneficial as CPR should be performed in the minutes between shocks being delivered.

To find a CPR/AED instructor in your area, request a free quote on Class Eagle Health and Safety Directory. This site has instructors that teach American Heart Association (AHA), American Red Cross (ARC), and Health Safety Institute (HSI) CPR/AED classes. Unless if you are required to have CPR training from a certain organization, receiving training from any of these reputable brands will be a good decision. They all use the most recent AHA Emergency Cardiovascular care guidelines.

While it’s not necessary, any organization that include CPR/AED training in the cost of a defibrillator purchase should. For training 6-12 students CPR group training can range from $300-$600.

Buying a Defibrillator: Final Thoughts

The maintenance involved in owning an AED is not too cumbersome, but is very important. AED’s should be kept in proper order so they can perform when called upon. For all the best quality AEDs and AED accessories check out the AED Source. We offer only a handful of AED’s that we highly recommend. There are so many options on the market today but we have curated our selection to offer only the best and AED’s that suit anyone’s needs.

Learn More:

Watch this video to learn more about AED Program Management.

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Everything You Need To Know About Buying An AED

Public AED

We’re here to dive deep and answer all the questions that you have and the questions you don’t know you have! AED Source discusses everything you need to know about buying an AED for your workplace, business, group or training classes, including what to look for when purchasing an AED.

What is an AED? 

An automated external defibrillator is abbreviated and called an AED. Some people may call them just ‘defibrillators’ and that’s correct too but there are lots of different kinds of defibrillators used today.

Some people have implanted cardiac defibrillators that monitor their heart rate constantly and deliver a shock if needed. There are also wearable defibrillators that can be worn by people who are having their heart evaluated for risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

The most commonly known defibrillators are the ones in hospitals. In hospitals defibrillators are usually very large and operated manually with two hand paddles that are connected to a machine. Manual hospital crash cart defibrillators are what we see on TV most often. The main difference between hospital defibrillators and AED’s are that AED’s are automatic and do not require a medical professional to assess how large of a shock to give the victim or when to deliver the shock.

Public AED
Public AED in alarming cabinet stored with trauma kit, first aid kit, and CPR mask.

AED’s are very portable machines that are used in public settings and designed for use by anyone. AED’s are made to do all the work unlike manual defibrillators. Public AED’s will walk you through every step and assume no prior knowledge or experience with them. The only thing you have to remember to do is turn on the AED. Once you turn on the AED it will give you verbal directions of what to do. It will guide you to place pads and give visual diagrams that show proper pad placement. The voice instructions will tell you the next steps to complete and will inform you when to perform CPR. Most AED’s will give guidance on how to do CPR as well. These AED feature’s ensure that anyone can assist in an emergency.

Who can use an AED?

Anyone can use an AED. These machines are very safe and can do no harm. (Despite what you may have seen in movies) Some insurance policies or specific industries will require that people in their facility receive training on how to use an AED if they have one. However, regardless of training anyone can use an AED.

In advanced medical practice there is a term called ‘scope of care’ that implies you may only perform skills you are trained in. When it comes to using an AED, their use is within anyones scope regardless of training because they are designed to not need prior training.

What to look for when choosing an AED?

Some people purchasing an AED may have a specific reason. Some wish to travel with an AED and others want it for a private home, or public space. Depending on what you’re looking for there may be specific features to keep in mind.


The first thing to consider is an AED’s design. Most people want something very user friendly. There are some AED’s that excel at this and limit the number of directions the user has to follow. The Heartsine Samaritan AED would be an example of this. Other’s look for an AED that is designed to be easily spotted and identified like the electric yellow Zoll AED Plus.

Most AED’s come with ‘coaching’ that walks users through performing CPR and using the AED. However, if this is a feature you are looking for make sure to put it on your list.


Another consideration is the durability of the AED or its ability to withstand harsher environments. This would be important for people using an AED outdoors where the AED is exposed to dirt, sand, and water. All AED’s have an ‘IP’ (ingress protection) rating that is a universal measurement tool on the AED’s resilience to elements.

  • The first number, rates the level of protection the AED has against solids, like dirt and dust
  • The second number, rates the level of protection the AED has against moisture, like water

The higher each number is for an AED, the more protection the device has from these elements.

However, it’s important to note that IP Ratings have nothing to do with how well an AED can withstand a fall or stress from movement and vibration. For this, the Food and Drug Administration requires all AEDs to meet the same drop and shock standards.


When you choose an AED you will want to look at the accessories they require and how long these accessories last. Some AED’s have pads or batteries that are more expensive but last a longer time. Other AED’s have less expensive products but they need to be replaced as often as yearly at times. If your AED is in frequent use, such as one at a nursing home, you may opt to not worry about longevity of the pads and batteries but instead look for less expensive options to make the AED easier to upkeep regularly.


You will want to make sure you get an AED in the language you need. Some AED’s offer multiple language abilities and some have the ability to have other languages downloaded. Regardless, take note that the AED you purchase is in a language you speak.

What is normally included when buying a AED?

aed program mangement
AED Program Management
  • User Manual- All AED’s will come with a user manual that should be read and followed.
  • Cover or Case- AED’s are designed to be easily transported.
  • Battery- Most AED’s come with one battery but it’s recommended a spare battery be purchased as well.
  • Adult Pads- Most AED’s come with only adult pads. Some will also come with pediatric pads.
  • AED Source always includes one year free of AED program management with our AED’s.

How much do AEDs cost? 

AED’s pricing will varied based on the kind of AED as well as the accessories it comes with. Our AED’s range in price from $1,245 – $2,100 for the initial purchase. However, there is also an additional cost to maintain AED’s and make sure all parts are within their operation date. You can view our AED Comparison Chart to see the 8-year life cost of an AED with pads and batteries.

For an example, the most affordable AED is the Defibtech Lifeline and has an initial purchase price of $1,245 and an 8 year lifetime cost of $2,074. This AED is ever popular with rescue squads and fire departments because of it’s price and simple functionality.

Our recommended AED’s?

The Heartsine Samaritan Pad 350 AED

Our favorite AED is the Heartsine Samaritan. This AED is the MVP. It has a low cost upfront and is oh so easy to maintain. Instead of having to purchase separate batteries and pads for this AED at various times, you simply have to replace the ‘Pad-pak’ (combo battery/pads) every four years. Additionally, the Heartsine Samaritan has one of the smallest footprints making it easy to transport.

The Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AED

The Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AED is one of the most high tech AED’s. This AED lives its best life when used by people with advanced medical training. While the AED can still be easily used by anyone the features it comes with are only going to be useful to trained medical responders.

The Physio Control LIFEPAK CR2

The Physio Control LIFEPAK is the most requested AED by schools and churches. This AED has dual language functionality that makes it popular in these environments that accommodate both Spanish and English speakers.  This AED also has unique technology that allows the user to continue CPR compressions while the AED analyzes the heart rhythm. Most AED’s don’t have this capability and the victim has several seconds of time lost where they could be receiving CPR to circulate oxygen through their body.

Is AED training required to use an AED?

We discuss this in detail in our article ‘Do You Need AED Training to Use an AED?’ While AED training is not required to use an AED, it is prudent to have people trained in using an AED so it can be quickly and efficiently used in the event of an emergency. It’s hard to imagine many scenarios worse than one where life saving equipment was available and not used. To find AED training in your area, we suggest using the Class Eagle Health & Safety Instructor Directory. On the directory you can find instructors that teach CPR & AED courses to suit your needs whether or not you are looking for basic AED training or advanced basic life support.

How do you install an automated external defibrillator?

While it is not necessary to install an AED, some places will choose to mount them or put them in a cabinet for protection or visibility. Installing these cabinets is usually relatively easy and only takes 2 screws. You will want to select a place that is easily accessible and visible. It’s important to install signage with the AED to let people know an AED is there. If the building you are installing an AED in has a safety team, you will want to discuss this with them and agree on the right position. For example, many churches or schools will think the entrance way is the best place to install an AED at first, but upon consideration they opt for a place that is more central in their buildings.

How much does an AED cost to maintain?

The cost of maintaining and AED varies on the AED and how often you use it. If you do not use an AED, there is still a cost to maintain it as the battery and pads will eventually expire. You will need to purchase the same brand of battery or pads that matches your AED for the AED to be functional. Please view our AED Comparison Chart to see the cost of accessories and cost to maintain over time.

What is the best AED for schools?

Every school should have an AED. While we often think of sudden cardiac arrest being more common in adults, it can also happen in children. Conversely, when children go into sudden cardiac arrest their chance for survival is so much greater with an AED. AED Source offers a handful of AED’s and we normally recommend the Heartsine Samaritan Pad 350 or the Physio Control Lifepak. We’d love to talk with you about what accessories you may need for your location as well.

Buying an AED: Final Thoughts

You now know enough about AED’s to read more about individual AED’s and compare them to each other. You can spend days, weeks, and months researching AED’s but you can also trust our selection at the AED Source. We sell more than one brand because we know everyones situation is different, however we offer a limited selection because we believe in the products we sell and only want to offer the best solutions to our communities.

Learn more about AED Program Management and how to make owning an AED simple:

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How To Use an AED

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that can save someone’s life during cardiac arrest. It’s a convenient yet simple way to provide a patient with an electric shock when their heart has stopped pumping. You will find AEDs in malls, offices, venues, transportation terminals, public buildings, fitness centers, and other populated areas. If you find someone unconscious, grab the closest AED available or have someone grab it for you. The device may literally save someone’s life.

Steps to use an AED

Even though an AED is complex and technical, it is actually very easy and safe to use. Most people including children should be able to use an AED at ease. All rescuers have to do is follow the steps that are vocally and visually presented upon turning on the device. The instructions are very straightforward, so don’t worry about getting confused.


Before using an AED, have bystanders help you with the first couple of steps to minimize the amount of time wasted. The quicker you can use the AED to evaluate the patient’s heart rhythm and provide them with an electric shock if needed, the better. If you don’t have bystanders around, scream for help as loud as you can while getting started with the following the steps:

  1. Call for emergency help. When using an AED, it will remind you to call for emergency help. So, if you haven’t done so already, call for emergency services before using the AED.
  2. Remove all clothing from the patient’s chest. You’ll need to remove all the clothing from the patient’s chest, even if that means ripping and tearing apart their clothing. Once the chest is exposed, you’ll need to ensure that the area is dry. At most, the chest can be moist, but not wet. Quickly remove or move aside all jewelry, bras, and other pieces of metal to prevent electrical burns. Don’t waste too much time with this as it is not a critical step. You’ll want to move on to the next step as quickly as possible.
  3. Shave the chest area. Very soon, you’ll be placing sticky pads on the patient’s chest, so you’ll want to shave the hair off the chest area with a razor to maximize contact between the pads and the skin. If you don’t have a razor handy, you can use scissors to cut the hair as short as you can. Although some people recommend using the pads to rip the hair off, it’s not a great solution as most AEDs only come with one set of sticky pads. For maximizing effectiveness, you’ll want the AED to be as clean and sticky as possible.
  4. Turn the AED on. Finally, turn on the AED and carefully follow all the prompted instructions. With most AEDs, you can turn them on by pressing the “On” button or by opening the front lid.
  5. Remove the pads from the packaging. Inside the AED, you’ll find one set of pads sealed inside a plastic package. This is done to prevent the pads’ adhesives from drying out. Take the pads out of the package and look at the illustrations. It’ll show you exactly where you should place each pad on the patient’s body. The illustrations should show one pad being placed under the right collar bone and the other one under the left armpit, next to the breast. Place them as accurately as possible. Since the pads are interchangeable, you don’t have to worry about placing a specific pad on the collar bone or under the left armpit.
  6. Clear for analysis. After placing the pads on the patient’s body, ensure that nobody is touching the victim. The AED will start to evaluate the patient’s heart rhythm to determine whether the patient needs an electric shock or not. Shout “Clear!” and make sure that no one is touching the patient or else the evaluation may be skewed.

  1. Clear for shock. After the evaluation is complete, the AED will advise you whether the patient requires an electric shock or not. If no shock is needed, it means that the patient is not in a critically bad state. However, you’ll still need to perform CPR on the patient until you find a pulse or until emergency help arrives. If a shock is required, the AED will state “Shock is advised.” It’ll again prompt everyone to stay clear of the patient. Just like the analysis step, you’ll want to shout “Clear!” and make sure that no one is touching the patient. Shortly, the AED will deliver the patient with an electrical shock and then prompt you to start CPR for two minutes. After two minutes, the AED will advise you that it’s going to do another evaluation.
  2. CPR. When the AED prompts you to perform CPR, leave the pads on and start giving the patient 30 chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths. After two minutes while you repeat the CPR cycle, the AED will prompt you that it’s going to reanalyze the patient. Repeat steps 6-8 after each analysis. Keep repeating those steps until emergency help arrives.

How an AED works

The sticky pads found in the AED have sensors which are also called electrodes. As you already know, the electrodes serve as a conduit to deliver an electric shock if needed. After placing them on the patient, the electrodes collect and send information about the patient’s heart rhythm to the built-in computer found in the AED. The computer then calculates and analyzes the information to determine whether an electric shock is needed. If an electric shock is not needed, the AED will not provide a shock under any circumstances as they’re designed to only do so when Ventricular Fibrillation is detected.

When an electric shock is needed, electrical currents are delivered to the patient’s heart, temporarily stunning it. This process gives the patient’s heart a chance to beat normally by interrupting the abnormal rhythm. As mentioned earlier, although AEDs seem very technical, they are 100% safe to use by anyone, including children. You’ll find AEDs in public areas, so learning how to use one beforehand will increase your confidence upon using one.

Things to look out for

There are multiple things to look for when using an AED. When it’s time to use one, you can’t be careless as it may cost the patient their life. Here are some things to look out for:

  1. The surrounding environment. Before doing any medical procedure, you need to ensure that your surrounding environment is safe. If there’s anything that can harm you, try to remove it as quickly as possible or relocate the patient to a safe area. Remember, you won’t be able to effectively help someone in need of an AED if you get badly injured. Also, if there’s lots of water nearby e.g. the patient is lying in a puddle or pool, move them to a dry area to prevent burns and shocks to the rescuer and bystanders.

  1. Children and infants. When using an AED on children between the ages of 1 and 8, you’ll ideally want to use an AED with pediatric pads. If there isn’t one available, a regular AED should still be used. Depending on the AED, you may be able to deliver a pediatric shock instead. Look for a labeled pediatric shock switch and turn it on. Again, if there isn’t one available, you’ll have to use a regular one instead. When using an AED on infants under the age of 1, you’ll ideally want to use a manual defibrillator to manually set the energy delivery and shock to the infant’s heart. These are done for children and infants because they require lower levels of energy to defibrillate their hearts.
  2. A hairy chest. Excessive chest hair may actually limit the contact between the electrode pads and the skin, and this may lead to an inaccurate or poor evaluation of the patient’s heart rhythm. So, if you don’t have a razor or scissors, quickly look around to see if there’s a sharp object that can cut the chest hair. However, most AEDs will come with a razor. If there’s another set of pads in the AED, use them to remove the hair. You may also find another set of pads where the AED was stored.
  3. A wet chest. A wet or sweaty chest may interfere with the AED. Always dry the chest before attaching the pads to maximize effectiveness.

  1. Implanted devices and medication patches. Some patients may have medical devices in their bodies such as a pacemaker. These devices will usually appear as a small and hard lump. If the patient has one where the pads should be placed, do not place them over the implanted device(s). Instead, move the pads at least an inch away. The same goes for adhesive medication patches on the skin. Never place an AED pad over these patches. Instead, remove the patch and clean the area with a towel, cloth, or wipe. Ensure the area is dry and then attach the pads.
  2. Staying clear. When the AED prompts everyone to stay clear of the patient, you must ensure that no one is touching them. This can skew the analysis and shock results which may consequently lead to a failed rescue. So, when the AED prompts that it’s going to perform an analysis or deliver a shock, visually check to see that no one is touching the patient.

  1. Extras. As mentioned, AEDs are stored in public areas, so you may find extra medical equipment at the same location or nearby. When grabbing an AED, look for extra pads, batteries, CPR masks, razors, gloves, and other accessories. You never know if you’ll need extras, so grab them when you can.
  2. Damages. Before using an AED, you should do a quick look around to see if there are any damages, or if the pads and batteries have expired. If you find damages, replace them to maximize effectiveness and to prevent malfunctions and other complications.
  3. Malfunctions. If you run into problems while using the AED, it will prompt you to do some troubleshooting. First, make sure that the pads have been attached correctly. Reattach or replace them on the patient and press down firmly. Then, check the cable connection and make sure it’s tightly connected. Now, see if the battery is low. If it is, quickly replace it.
  4. CPR. Once an AED prompts you to perform CPR, you need to do so with full concentration. You must not solely rely on AED to save a patient’s life. Supplementing an AED with effective CPR can double the chances of survival.
  5. Liability. Some believe that using an AED requires a certification or medical training. However, that is completely false. Anyone can to use an AED on someone who is need of emergency help, so don’t be afraid to take action. If you feel like you don’t want to be liable, remember that the patient will die regardless. So, it only makes sense that you try to help them out.
  6. Wasting time. When going through the steps of using an AED, you have no time to waste. Every second counts, so you need to do your best to proceed quickly. It’ll take some time for emergency help to arrive, but it may be too late. You need to be 100 percent focused on the rescue.
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Best Philips OnSite AED [Review]

The Philips HeartStart Onsite AED features professional-grade functionality which incorporates many innovative features that make it ideal for the general public’s use. The Philips HeartStart Onsite AED helps to reduce deployment time by streamlining steps that helps rescuers to start the right therapy for their victims quickly and efficiently.

When we compare CPR today to CPR a decade ago due to advancements in medical equipment and community, we see that CPR is even more effective overall when coupled with an AED such as the Philips HeartStart Onsite AED. This AED includes some advanced features which really set it apart in performance during CPR.

Philips HeartStart Onsite AED Features

Here are few basics of the Philips HeartStart Onsite AED features:

  • Life Guidance walks you through every step
  • FDA approved to be sold without a Physician’s prescription
  • Quick shock technology reduces interruptions in compressions
  • Small, lightweight and is easy to maneuver in tight places.
  • Smart features that can detect and go at the pace of the rescuer

Rich clinical information, driving patient care

  • Patient-specific guidance with the Philips SMART Pads for the most appropriate initial therapy during CPR.
  • The Philips HeartStart Onsite AED helps to support a culture of continuous improvement and excellence using the Philips Data Management Solutions.
  • Adult and Child/Infant Pads can be easily and quickly interchanged with their innovative pad cartridges.

Built to endure, designed to evolve

  • The Philips HeartStart Onsite AED has an upgradable platform which allows you to take advantage of advancements now and in the future.
  • 1100 pound (499 kg) crush test and IP 55 rating for protection against dust and water.
  • Tested to stringent military standards and is U.S. Army AWR certified.

To learn more or enroll in one of our classes, please Contact Us or view our list of Upcoming Classes. Prime offers a wide range of classes including CPR, First Aid, ACLS and more! Experience the difference and learn from highly experienced medical providers. We make it easy every step of the way.