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.

  • 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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