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Buying an AED

A lot of people ask our advice when they are thinking about buying a defibrillator.  So here is a little more information an where to buy an AED and how much you will need to budget.

Should I buy an AED?

Firstly, there is no doubt that increased access to AEDs means increased survival rates for anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. In fact every minute that defibrillation is delayed decreases the survival chances by 10%. Receiving defibrillation within 3–5 minutes of collapse can produce survival rates up to 50–70%. This is why, when you start to look, you can see AED's already installed in a lot of places: sports centres, airports, railway stations, offices. Have a look around and see where the closest AED to your home or office is.

Ref: NICE Cardiac Arrest - out of hospital care. What is the prognosis? ]

Public access defibrillators are there for members of the public to use. Private companies and offices may also have AED's for use by and for their staff. They have no obligation to allow their AEDs to be for public use.

Where can I buy an AED?

We have found a very good AED supplier to recommend: Wessex Medical. They have over 30 years of experience selling defibrillators and they have strong relationships with all the major suppliers.

If you call them directly on 01722 410 084 you will often get through to Alan, the company owner, who has a wealth of knowledge in this area and will be happy to advise you on what you need and also on how to install and maintain it.  Or you can email:


How much does an AED cost?

Alan currently recommends the Radian AED - which comes from Korea and is both reliable and extremely very good value for money at £699+vat.

Or, for those who prefer a known brand, Phillips have a range of AED devices which shouldn't cost you more than £1000+vat.

Can an AED be dangerous?

AEDs are designed to be used by someone with no training. All you need to do is bring it to the collapsed, non-breathing casualty, open it up, switch it on and follow the  voice commands. The UK Resuscitation Council encourges members of the public to use an AED even if they have no training. The most common concern from someone who has not been trained to use an AED is that they will harm the casualty. They won't! AED's will only deliver a shock if the casualty is in one of two potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Every other medical condition from a simple faint to something more serious will not allow the device to deliver a shock.

Do I need to be trained to use and AED?

ANYONE, trained or not can and should use an AED. 

The UK Resucitation Council is very clear that:

"While it is highly desirable that those who may be called upon to use an AED should be trained in their use, and keep their skills up to date, circumstances can dictate that no trained operator (or a trained operator whose certificate of training has expired) is present at the site of an emergency. Under these circumstances no inhibitions should be placed on any person willing to use an AED.

It is the view of Resuscitation Council UK that the use of AEDs should NOT be restricted to trained personnel. Furthermore, Resuscitation Council UK considers that it is inappropriate to display notices to the effect that only trained personnel should use the devices, or to restrict their use in other ways. Such restrictions are against the interests of victims of cardiac arrest and discourage the greater use of AEDs by members of the public who may be able to preserve life and assist victims of cardiac arrest. This confirms similar advice from the British Heart Foundation."

Whilst anyone can use an AED, it is preferable that people receive training first. It would also be better if more people were trained in CPR, which buys time before defibrillation.

React First AED (Defibrillator) Training Courses

All our first aid qualifications include CPR and training in the safe use of an automated external defibrillator or AED.

We have a short,  4 hour, course called Basic Life Support and Safe Use of an AED which covers all the essential, life-saving first aid treatments, including the use of a defibrillator. This BLS course with AED training gives you the knowledge and the confidence to give prompt, effective treatment to a casualty suffering from cardiac arrest.  

  • In-house AED Training - we send a trainer to your workplace to train your staff onsite
  • Public AED Training courses - we run a programme of public first aid and AED training courses in Central London. Have a look at our calendar for a full list of dates and venues. You can also book and pay for your place online from here. 

More information about AEDs

Learn more about what an AED is and how it works here:

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