Top AED Defibrillator Buying Tips

1. Ease of Use
The scene of a medical event is often loud and chaotic. Good AED units provide clear prompts for use. These include simple color-coding on the the unit, loud and clear voice prompting, and clear visual prompts on the display.

2. Consumer Batteries
Some AED units come with expensive, proprietary batteries while others come with consumer-type lithium batteries. Whenever possible, look for an AED that has consumer batteries, for which spares can be easily and cheaply obtained.

3. Usable Adhesive Pads
Some electrode pads on AEDs have extremely sticky pads that can easily stick to the user's bare skin or clothing accidently. Precious seconds can be lost while removing and placing such pads correctly. Make sure the electrode pads are not overly sticky. Better units also have a one-piece electrode pad instead of two to save time and ensure proper placement on the victim.

4. Firm Electrode Connections
Check the electrode connections to the main AED unit and make sure the connectors cannot be pulled out easily. Given the commotion when using an AED, you don't want a unit where the electrode cable(s) can be easily unplugged.

5. Water Resistant Seal
Check to see that the unit has a water-resistant seal(s). An AED will undoubtedly be used in the rain and placed on a wet sidewalk for example. Make sure there is a water-rated seal especially around the battery compartment.

6. CPR Feedback
When resuscitating a victim with an AED, the use of CPR is often also required. Good AED units provide the user with prompts or auditory feedback to assist in effective CPR compression technique.

7. Upgradable Operating System
Better AED units can have their internal operating system easily updated via download, while some models require that you send the unit back to the manufacturer for upgrades.