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. 

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.

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.

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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