Which AED should I buy?

All AEDs approved by the FDA basically do the same thing: deliver a shock to a heart in Sudden Cardiac Arrest. For any AED, once the AED is turned on and the pads are properly in place, they function essentially the same way. They will:

  • analyze the heart rhythm
  • determine whether a shock is appropriate
  • charge the AED
  • tell the responder to keep everyone clear of the victim
  • press the shock button.

At Safety Training Associates we have been dealing with AEDs for over 15 years. Over the years we have had the opportunity to research and evaluate many brands and models of AEDs. We have no allegiance to any particular brand. Realistically we all know that once the average lay responder has completed the training, they probably don't think about using an AED until either an incident occurs or the next training session. We believe that the most important issues in selection of an AED are:

  1. Under a pressure situation, how user-friendly is the AED?
  2. How likely is the AED to function properly months or years after purchase?
  3. What is the initial cost, and what are the ongoing maintenance costs?

We believe the Philips OnSite or FRx AED to be the best product in addressing the above concerns. It is the most practical, cost effective, user-friendly, and reliable unit at this time.

Ease of Use - The audio prompts are an actual human voice, not a harsh computer voice. The prompts are clear and concise. Under pressure, even months after training, the unit will take the user step by step through the procedure. The Philips AED keeps pace with the user being able to track all steps that have been completed before moving on to the next.

Reliability - Since Heartstart AEDs were first put on the market, no mass recalls have been issued. Over the years other manufacturers have had problems with battery failures and other issues related to batteries, OnSite has had no such problems.

Maintenance - All Philips units run self-diagnostics on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The only maintenance required is to regularly check to make sure the ready light is blinking green. If the unit detects a problem the light will change from green to red.

Long Term Cost - The battery normally will last 4 ‒ 5 years before needing replacement. When the battery gets low, the unit emits a sound similar to a smoke detector with a low battery. If the battery isn't replaced the unit begins emitting an audio prompt "Low battery...replace battery now!" In fact the low battery indicator will give an early warning before the battery is completely depleted and still will be able to deliver a number of shocks. As with any AED the pads do need to be replaced about every two years.

Although we can help your organization with any brand of AED, for most applications we recommend the Philips OnSite.