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Defibrillators Buyers Guide

Defib buyers guide

Defibrillators Buyers Guide

Fully Automatic Defibrillators Semi Automatic Defibrillators Defibrillators Pads Defibrillators Battery Defibrillator Cabinets
Defibrillator Special Offer Bundles Semi Automatic Defibrillators Defibrillators Pads Defibrillators Batteries Defibrillator Cabinets


A defibrillator or AED or Automated External Defibrillator is used to deliver a lifesaving shock to the heart in cases of cardiac arrest (cardiopulmonary arrest). Cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart is failing to beat at a regular rhythm because of a loss of blood circulation. The AED delivers a shock to the heart that restores the natural rhythm and can be the difference between life & death in the majority of cases. Having an AED on site means you are as prepared as possible to help save a life!

Table of Contents

1. Defibrillator Types   2. Unique Defibrillator Features
3. Frequently Asked Questions    

Types of Defibrillators

Fully automatic defibs  

Fully Automatic Defibrillators

Fully Automatic AEDs communicate step-by-step instructions and indicate when the patient is about to be shocked. There is no push button to deliver the shock as in semi -automatic AEDs. Fully automatic AEDs eliminate the hesitation associated with pushing the shock button. This reduces the worry for the rescuer and may reduce extended delays as the entire process is automatic.

Semi Automatic Defibrillators

Semi automatic AEDs allow the rescuer to deliver the treatment manually and will ask the person using the defibrillator to push the button when prompted to deliver the shock to the patient. If a shock needs to be administered the semi-automatic AED will talk to the user and tell them to clear the patient and push a shock button.  
  Semi automatic defibs

Defibs features

Unique Defibrillator Features

Battery life  

Battery Life

Always take note of the battery life as you will have to replace the battery over time, regardless of use. Batteries should be replaced so that the AED is constantly working and ready to use when needed.   

Voice Prompts

All AEDs provide step by step voice prompts, but some units can be very specific taking the user step by step on how to prepare the patient before the shock is administered and even the CPR process to follow and the correct rhythm. These units are suitable for untrained or underconfident users. There are other models with fewer voice prompts more suited to healthcare professionals who would have a broad understanding of the AED process. Most AEDs allow you to enable/disable voice prompts to suit the user’s needs.
  Voice prompts defibs
Visual Prompts defibs  

Visual Prompts

All AEDs have visual prompts and these differ in sophistication depending on the model. Consideration of who will be using the AED should be thought about when selecting the level of visual guidance available. Some models opt for simplicity so not all models would be highly detailed for the user.   

IP Ratings

All AEDs have an IP rating which relates to the protection the unit has to common elements. The first number relates to dust protection level and the second number is for water. The higher the numbers the more protection from the elements. When choosing an AED, it is very important to consider the environment and if the IP rating suits the surroundings.
  IP Ratings defibs
Accessories defibs  


All AEDs come with a battery and a set of pads (these may differ in size). The battery should be checked and replaced when necessary. All AED pads are one use only so do not forget to stock up with the relevant pads you may need. It is especially important to replace the pads every time the AED is used and if possible, have an extra set of pads available. There are bundle packages available that include additional pads and batteries, so these are worth considering when purchasing a unit.

Defibs frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Semi-automatic AEDs defibrillators or fully automatic AEDs defibrillators which one should I pick?
This is just one of many considerations to think about when determining which AED defibrillator is best for their facility. This functionality is closely related to ease of use, one of the most important considerations. All AEDs defibrillators do provide clear instructions throughout the rescue process. However, the rescue attempt can be a stressful process, especially for a novice. They are available in two types of energy delivery configurations: semi-automatic AEDs, where the AED will verbally request the rescuer to push the shock button to deliver the treatment. While fully automatic AEDs defibrillators have no shock button to push and will deliver the shock automatically.
2 - What should I look for when buying a defibrillator?
  • Price is important
  • Semi or fully automatic
  • Physical size and weight
  • Warranty
  • Battery standby life and replacement cost
  • Pad shelf life and replacement cost
3 - Can you buy your own defibrillator?
Defibrillators can be purchased from Huntoffice which supplies a range of AEDs in Ireland from leading brands including Mediana, Zoll Medical, Phillips & many more. We also stock a full range of AED pads, batteries & cabinets.
4 - What is the most common defibrillator?
An automated external defibrillator or AED is the most common type. Defibrillators are portable lifesaving devices that send an electric pulse or shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. AEDs can be used on adults & children over one year old. These are available in Fully or Semi-automatic. Fully automatic automates the whole process from start to finish – semi-automatic needs the user to manually press the button on the AED to administer the lifesaving shock.
5 - Do defibrillators need to be serviced?
Maintenance & servicing of Defibrillators is very important and should be carried out yearly. We recommend getting your AED tested by a professional as although you can use the self-testing checks on some models a professional will carry out more stringent testing. As your Defibrillator ages – parts can become less dependable and the likelihood of device failure increases. Regular testing will pick up any faults that may be missed during a self-test. 
6 - Why Do We Need Defibrillators? 
When a person suffers from a cardiac arrest, CPR alone can be a lifesaving maneuver but without an AED it usually is not enough. Chest compressions force the heart to pump manually but the heart will not pump on its own if the SA node is not reset. Manual pumping can help prolong life but not save it. You can keep a person alive by using the electric shock to help the heart regain regular beats and work on its own. Defibrillations & compressions together significantly increase the likelihood of survival. 
7 - When is it not safe to use a defibrillator?  
It is common to confuse a heart attack with cardiac arrest, but they are 2 very different things. The surest way to tell the difference is if the patient is experiencing pain but is breathing & responsive then it is most likely a heart attack. If the person is unresponsive and not breathing – you are most likely dealing with a cardiac arrest. You must never use a defibrillator if the person is covered in water, laying in water or the patient’s body/chest is soaked from sweat. Defibrillators cannot be used in children under 12 months.  AED pads should not be placed over or near a medication patch or a pacemaker. Adult pads should not be used on children under 8 years of age unless there is no other option available at the time.
8 - Can anyone use a defibrillator?
Although anyone can use a defibrillator, we would recommend that the person who uses the defibrillator or AED device has received the appropriate AED/CPR training. Training is recommended to help increase the level of confidence and improve the quality of CPR that is provided.