What is the best home defibrillator (AED)? – updated 2020 guide

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lifesaving medical device that delivers an electrical shock to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

Early defibrillation is critical in order to provide the best chances of survival from a cardiac arrest. Defibrillation works by clearing the heart of disorganised electrical activity and giving it a chance to restore its normal rhythm. 

The majority of cardiac arrests occur at home!

Many people are now considering investing in a home defibrillator. This makes sense as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) may not be close by and minutes count in a cardiac arrest situation.

Here’s our roundup of the best home defibrillators available in 2018. If you have any suggestions to add to this list then please let us know in the comments section.

Top pick: Philips HeartStart home defibrillator

This is our top pick for the best home defibrillator in 2018. Philips is a well established, multi-national, medical electronics company. Their HeartStart AED is a perfect home defibrillator and reasonably priced.

The HeartStart AED can be used by someone with no formal training. It has a combination of voice and visual prompts to guide the rescuer through the use of the defibrillator.

This device is smart – it won’t deliver a shock unless the victim needs it. Therefore it is a safe device for laypeople to use. The HeartStart AED will tailor the amount of energy delivered depending on the body size of the victim, reducing the risk of any complications from defibrillation.

In addition, Philips has worked hard to reduce the time it takes for the defibrillator to deliver a shock. This ‘time to shock’ measure is an important principle when comparing defibrillators. The evidence shows a long time to shock is associated with a poorer overal prognosis for victims of cardiac arrest.

Runner-up: Zoll AED plus

The runner up in our home defibrillator comparison is the Zoll AED plus. Zoll is another reputable company in the defibrillator market and their Zoll AED plus is similar in many ways to the Philips HeartStart product.

However, we’ve ranked this one lower mainly due to cost. The Zoll (and its accessories) are more expensive than the Philips product.

This is still a high-quality choice and would be a beneficial addition to any home. However, savvy consumers may want to choose the Philips model as it provides better value for money.

Do you have a home defibrillator?

Home defibrillators are becoming increasingly common. If you’ve made the decision to purchase a home defibrillator then let us know in the comments section.

Our online AED course is a great way to learn the science behind defibrillation and why it is so important in the chain of survival for cardiac arrest victims. 

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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