Choice of Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Who Can Buy an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

  • There are a number of Automated External Defibrillators available for sale in the United Kingdom. Use of a standard web search engine will easily identify those available.
  • Anyone in the UK can purchase of an AED. It does not require a prescription (unlike, for example the United States). Manufacturers do, however, require traceability information in case of product recall / upgrade.
  • All AEDs perform the same basic function. Some have a range of added functionality (for example in supporting the delivery of effective CPR or different ways of delivering a shock to a paediatric patient [approx. 1 to 8 years of age]).

Automatic or Semi Automatic


A decision needs to be made as to whether the AED should be 'Automatic' or 'Semi-Automatic'.

  • An automatic AED, once activated, will progress through to delivering a shock, if required, without any further manual intervention. Audible prompts will warn those assisting the patient to 'stand clear' before the shock is delivered.
  • Semi automatic AEDs follow the same processes, but have a manual button which must be pressed to deliver the shock (when required). Audible prompts will again guide those assisting through the process. This manual intervention gives an opportunity for the person pressing the button to deliver the shock to do a visual check to ensure no-one is touching the patient

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