AED Resources & FAQ

Many physicians recommend that families with a SADS condition consider obtaining a personal AED as part of the family’s safety gear. It’s a personal decision that you and your physician should discuss.

A scientific statement from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommends that competitive athletes with SADS conditions acquire “a personal automatic external defibrillator as part of the athlete’s personal sports safety gear.”

Steps to Get a Personal Home AED


Discuss with your physician whether or not an AED is necessary for your family. Obtain a prescription for your AED from your physician if you want to try to get it covered by insurance.


Insurance – work with your insurance company before you purchase your AED so you can know if and how much they will cover. Be prepared to appeal their decision–maybe multiple times. Obtaining an AED through your insurance can take from 1 week to 18 months.


Decide on the best AED for you and your family. For more information about types of AEDs, including the FDA list of approved AEDs and information about AEDs for use with children, see below.


Purchase your AED and get training, if needed.You can buy a Philips LifeStart AED without a prescription. The majority of AED vendors will provide the prescription with your purchase if you don’t have one from your physician.

LifeSure can help families obtain an AED through the family’s insurance company.
See information here for tips for dealing with insurance companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can anyone buy an AED?

Most AEDs require a prescription. Philips Heartstart OnSite AED is the only AED that is approved to use without a prescription (you can purchase one on Amazon –and sometimes at Costco & Walmart).

How do I choose an AED?

AEDs are manufactured and sold under guidelines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA maintains a list of AED devices that are FDA-approved.

Other qualities to consider include:

  • Cost (also see information re about recertified AEDs)
  • Child-friendliness. Children require unique shock settings, and you want a device that easily accommodates that.
  • Ease of use. Most AEDs are pretty simple to use, except for those models specifically designed for emergency professionals.
How much does an AED for home use cost?

The average AED price ranges from $1,200 to around $1,900 with most consumer units falling below $1,600. Prices vary depending on the features which are important to you (see information below for . An AED package usually includes the AED, battery, defibrillation pad(s) and carrying case.

Recertified AEDs: You can find facts about recertified AEDs from One Beat Medical.
New and recertified AEDs (that should be lower in price than new ones) can be purchased from many companies and also found online.

How do I get financial assistance to pay for an AED?

There are a few options below to help you get an AED. You can also try contacting your local hospital charity or organizations like Kiwanis Clubs, Lion’s Clubs, Rotary, etc..

You can apply for a United Healthcare Grant – for children 16 years and younger. You do not need to have United Healthcare insurance, but you must have private insurance and your income cannot exceed the maximum eligible family income.

If you are a school or an organization who needs to purchase AEDs, there is a crowdfunding site that might help:

Can AEDs be used on children?

An AED can be used on children and infants and should be used as early as possible for the best chance of survival. Pediatric pads (or a switch, “key,” or button that can convert the defibrillator to “child-mode”) should be used if the person is less than eight years old or less than 55 pounds (25 kg).

American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations if pediatric pads or “child mode” is not available

If the AED they are using doesn’t have pediatric electrode pads available, or the device can’t be switched to “Child Mode,” the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends using the AED’s default adult setting on the child.

For more information:

Can you take an AED on a plane?

Airlines allow you to carry on your own defibrillator, but they may not allow you to bring its battery. Check the size of your automated external defibrillator’s battery well before your flight so you have time to make proper arrangements.