Choosing the right defibrillator

The statistics for heart health are frightening.  According to the British Heart Foundation, 7.6m Brits are living with a heart or circulatory condition and in a single day, 260 UK hospital admissions will be due to a heart attack.

Even more worryingly, around 30,000 people will have a cardiac event outside of a hospital environment every year and with each minute that passes without defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by 10%.  As an employer, having a defibrillator on your premises could literally be the difference between life and death.

What to look for

When a medical emergency occurs, it puts a huge amount of pressure on the person who is going to administer the defibrillator regardless of whether they’ve had training.  You can choose whether the technology you invest in gives the critical shock automatically, known as fully automatic, or whether someone is required to push a button to do so, which is called semi-automatic. 

Key features available

With so many different brands available, here’s a comparison of some of the most well-known features and which products offer them:



AED pads (adult)

Electrode pads that are placed on the bare chest and can monitor the heart rhythm to determine if a shock is required – if needed, the shock will be delivered to the body through these pads

AED pads (paediatric)

Electrode pads designed for specific use on children under the age of approximately eight

Voice instructions and visual icons

Verbal and visual prompts to guide the user through the steps involved in using the AED

Carry case

A product-specific carry case designed to protect the device

Data capture and reporting

The ability to record data whilst the device in on, including capturing heart-rate information before and after a shock is given


Tracker allowing easy location of the defib in an emergency. They also allow real-time monitoring of multiple devices at a central source to make sure they’re ready to use and accessible.


Location and convenience

While defibrillators are portable, where you decide to put your device and how you store it are important for many reasons. In most workplace environments, the obvious choice is to keep the device inside the premises. For companies located in community hubs, it may be an option to store the device externally on the wall of an easily accessible and visible building. Regardless of location, it’s important to make sure your workforce know where the defibrillator is located and that it’s stored safely and securely so that it doesn’t get tampered with or mis-used.

Cost considerations and specialist settings

A standard defibrillator will typically cost from £800 to around £2,500 as an initial investment, however you can expect this to last 10-15 years depending on how it is used.  Many devices come with a warranty of at least 7 years once the device is registered, however further regular maintenance will be needed.  Even if the device isn’t used, a typical battery will last between 4-6 years which can cost upwards of £200 to replace depending on the brand, and pads have a typical shelf life of 2-years before needing replacing, which can be around £70-£100 minimum to replace.

Helping you to save a life

If you want to demonstrate your commitment to the health and safety of your workforce and give those around you peace of mind that you are as prepared as possible for a life-changing cardiac event, you can take a look at our range of cost-effective defibrillators here or talk to our team of experts about your requirements by calling 0845 230 2090.  As well as providing the information you need to help make a purchasing decision, we can also share details of available training to increase the user confidence and make sure there’s no hesitation in acting fast to deliver life-saving treatment
DefibrillatorsFirst aidMedical equipment