Just about every office has a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher, but not every workplace has an office defibrillator (AED) at the ready. When you consider that over 350,000 Americans a year suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)—and quick defibrillation could save many of those lives—having a defibrillator device in the office should be at the top of every safety plan.
The 6 Best AEDs to Buy for an Office
Given the guidelines we’ve outlined above, here are our top six automated external defibrillators for offices:
1. Philips HeartStart FRx
The Philips HeartStart FRx AED is another of our favorites for responding to cardiac arrest in an office setting. While it’s a little heavier and costs more than devices like the Philips HeartStart Onsite, its unique features—including a child/infant key—make this a very versatile unit to have. It’s also one of the most durable AEDs on the market.
Ease of use: Like our other semi-automatic office AEDs, this device is very easy to use. Upon delivery of the unit, pull out and remove the green Setup tab and the device will automatically run a self-test and move into standby mode. During a rescue, the AED offers optional CPR guidance and flashing icons so you can follow along even in noisy environments.
Affordability: The Philips HeartStart FRx is a bit pricey but has a lower overall cost of ownership than many other defibrillators thanks to the cost-saving child/infant key, which works for the lifetime of the device and doesn’t need to be replaced every two years. For a few dollars more, you can get the Philips HeartStart FRx Value Package which includes a wall cabinet and signage for less than purchasing these accessories separately.
Size: At 4 lbs, this portable defibrillator is lightweight and easy to rush to a patient’s side. The rectangular shape is easy to handle, and the unit is built to withstand vibration and shock.
Recommended accessories: Mount your Philips HeartStart FRx in an easy-to-see place in the office with the purpose-made AED Wall Bracket by Philips. For office spaces near water (such as a hotel with a swimming pool), consider the Philips Hard-Sided Watertight Carry Case to keep your AED dry and protect it from drops along the way.
2. Defibtech Lifeline VIEW AED
The Defibtech Lifeline VIEW is a state-of-the-art AED machine with a stunning color display and an amazingly rugged construction.
Ease of Use: This device is the first and only defibrillation unit with a full-color, high-resolution screen that illustrates the procedures in real-time—eliminating all guesswork and ensuring that everyone has the knowledge necessary to save lives. Real-Time Protocol Selection allows you to customize your on-screen instructions based on your skill level.
Affordability: The Defibtech Lifeline VIEW costs a bit more than some of the AEDs on this list, but it offers some of the most advanced features in its class. The color screen isn’t available on any other competitor device, and the cutting-edge software ensures that the unit is easy to maintain and easy to upgrade at a moment’s notice. The unit comes with an 8-year warranty, a 4-year battery, and pads. A Defibtech Lifeline VIEW Value Package is also available, and this version contains the automated external defibrillator plus a cabinet, case, first responder kit, and more.
Size: This product weighs just under three pounds and is one of the most compact models on the market. Not only is it small and lightweight, but it also features an award-winning ergonomic design. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand but is still rugged enough to handle drops and other abuse. In fact, it has the highest rating for drop/shock testing and is crush-resistant up to 1,000 pounds.
Recommended Accessories: A Defibtech AED Soft Carrying Case can preserve your device and ensure that it’s easy and safe to transport in the event of an emergency. In addition, we recommend keeping AED signage around the office, including a wall poster, decal, and inspection tag.
3. Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AED
The Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 is an extremely versatile external defibrillator. In addition to Cardiac Science’s proprietary RescueCoach™ voice and text prompts, this unit offers dual-language capabilities and intelligent electrode pads so you’re never left to guess.
Ease of Use: The Cardiac Science AED comes in semi-automatic and fully automatic versions, allowing you to choose between a two-button device with a power button and shock button or a one-button device that counts down before delivering a shock automatically. The Powerheart G5 conducts daily, weekly, and monthly self-tests, so you always know that it’s ready to use.
Affordability: This external defibrillator falls in the same general price range as the Philips FRx and Defibtech Lifeline VIEW. However, with an 8-year warranty, you can be confident that it will last a long time. For savings on Powerheart accessories, consider the Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 Value Package.
Size: The Powerheart G5 is a slightly heavier external defibrillator than our other recommended models—weighing 10 lbs with dimensions 19 x 12 x 7 inches. However, the unit’s durability and ruggedness more than make up for the weight. This AED is tested to military drop/shock standards and boasts an IP55 rating for protection against water and dust.
Recommended Accessories: The Powerheart G5 has a wide range of carry cases that offer a high level of protection against drops and bumps. The Cardiac Science Premium Carry Case is lightweight and strong. The Cardiac Science Hard-Sided Carry Case offers extra protection, and the Cardiac Science Backpack can be ideal for office-based response teams that may need to treat a cardiac arrest on the go.
4. ZOLL AED Plus
The ZOLL AED Plus is a compact portable defibrillator that’s designed to weather extreme temperatures and humidity. There are semi-automatic and fully automatic options available, allowing you to choose whether you want to be asked to deliver the shock or have the AED deliver the shock automatically.
Ease of use: The ZOLL AED Plus is the user-friendly alternative to the ZOLL AED Pro. It conducts daily, weekly, and monthly self-tests so you always know it’s ready to use. Real-time CPR help provides immediate feedback on the depth and rate of chest compressions so you can provide high-quality hands-only or traditional CPR. After you lift up the cover, the graphical user interface reminds you of each step in the Chain of Survival, ensuring a rapid response even if your brain freezes in the heat of an emergency.
Affordability: The ZOLL AED Plus is average-priced compared to the other devices on this list and comes with a generous 7-year warranty. For cost savings when purchasing accessories, you can invest in the ZOLL AED Plus Value Package.
Size: The ZOLL AED Plus weighs 6.7 lbs and is easy to carry even with a gloved hand thanks to the wide carry handle. It’s very robust with an IP55 ingress protection rating against water and dust and can even be used at high altitudes.
Recommended Accessories: If you might need to treat children under 8 years or 55 pounds, consider purchasing the ZOLL Pedi-Padz II (sold separately). Before disaster strikes, the ZOLL AED Plus Trainer 2 can get your office team emergency-ready. Finally, purpose-made soft and hard-shell carry cases are available to protect the machine from shocks and drops.
5. HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P
The HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P is designed for the budget-conscious consumer, but it doesn’t skimp on features or dependability. In terms of ease of use, affordability, and size, this defibrillator is unmatched.
Ease of Use: The 350P offers intuitive features ideal for the lay responder. It’s noted for its simple readiness monitoring and streamlined two-button operation. One button turns the device on and off, and the other delivers a shock. To use the device, just turn it on, listen to the on-screen prompts, and deliver treatment accordingly.
Affordability: This is the most cost-effective AED on our list. Even more impressive, the unit comes with a full 8-year warranty. The product includes the Pad-Pak pads-and-battery cartridge as well as a protective carrying case. A HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P Value Package is also available for just a few dollars more, and it includes everything described here as well as a cabinet, a first responder kit, and all the signage you need.
Size: At just 2.4 pounds, this automated external defibrillator is the smallest and lightest model on the market. Its circular design allows it to fit in the most compact spaces. Despite its small size, though, it’s as rugged as they come. It boasts the highest durability ratings of any model, including an IP56 Dust & Water Rating.
Recommended Accessories: A HeartSine Samaritan AED Wall Bracket provides a secure fit and enables you to affix your 350P to the office wall for use at a moment’s notice. In addition, a HeartSine Semi-Rigid Case provides added protection for your device when it’s not in use. Finally, be sure to include ample signage around the office.
6. Philips HeartStart OnSite AED
The Philips HeartStart OnSite is the most widely sold automated external defibrillator on the planet. It’s popular because it’s small, affordable, easy to use, and packed with advanced features.
Ease of Use: This Philips AED is simple to operate. The pads and battery come pre-installed. Just pull the green handle to administer the first self-test. From that point on, the device automatically performs 85 self-tests per month to ensure that everything is in working order. In the event of an emergency, voice instructions guide you through every step of the process, from using the pads to administering CPR. It even instructs on the proper frequency and depth of chest compressions and breaths.
Affordability: The Philips HeartStart OnSite is available at a competitive price. It includes a Philips Smart Pad Adult Electrode Cartridge and a Philips OnSite Battery Pack with its own 4-year warranty. The defibrillator itself is protected by an 8-year warranty to ensure the maximum return on your investment. A Philips HeartStart Onsite Value Package is available for a lower total AED price.
Size: This model weighs just 3.3 pounds with the electrode pad cartridge and battery pack installed. It’s contained inside a semi-rigid carrying case for added protection and easy transport.
Recommended Accessories: If you’re purchasing the OnSite, consider also purchasing a set of OnSite Adult Training Pads. This will enable you to undergo and lead valuable AED training in the office. You’ll also need a quality AED wall cabinet for storage and security.
What to Look For in an Office AED Device
When choosing a defibrillator for the office, certain factors are going to be especially important. Many of our clients are business owners, office managers, and HR directors, and these professionals typically weigh the following three variables above all else.
1. Ease of Use
While basic CPR training should be incorporated into every business and AED training requirements might exist in your state, the fact is that your facility probably isn’t staffed with trained medical personnel. With that in mind, you need an AED that a layperson can operate with relative ease. Look for AED units that provide:
- Voice instruction to guide the CPR and defibrillation processes
- Bilingual functionality with voice instructions in multiple languages (if your office is bilingual)
- A simple layout with straightforward buttons and menus
What Is the Easiest AED to Use?
All automated external defibrillators are easy for a layperson to use. However, there are models that might be easier to use in certain situations:
- If you want to be as hands-off as possible, consider a fully automatic AED like the ZOLL AED Plus or the Cardiac Science Powerheart G5.
- If your office can tend to get noisy, the Philips HeartStart FRx will be the easiest to use thanks to the flashing icons. The FRx also automatically adjusts the voice prompt volume based on the volume of the environment (the LIFEPAK CR2 does this too).
- If you have a bilingual or multilingual team, the easiest defibrillator will be one that has dual-language capabilities, like the Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 or LIFEPAK CR2.
Businesses, especially small businesses, often have tight budget constraints, so cost is a key factor. A high-quality AED unit for an office can cost between $1,200 and $3,000. If you spend much less than that, you risk sacrificing quality, and that’s not something you want to do when purchasing a life-saving medical device. Fortunately, there are some great options within the $1,200 to $1,900 range. Here are some tips for the budget-conscious buyer:
- Save money by purchasing defibrillators as part of an AED value package where available. Some suppliers put together AED value packages where for around $50 more you can get the AED device as well as a carry case, wall cabinet, first responder kit, and other accessories.
- Purchase recertified units. Used and pre-owned AEDs can provide excellent value; just make sure that the seller offers a generous warranty and performs an extensive recertification process.
- Ensure that your device comes with at least a 4-year warranty. An 8-year or 10-year warranty is even better.
- Buy from a provider that offers free shipping. AEDs are heavy devices, so the shipping can add considerably to the cost.
3. Compact Size
Most businesses prefer an automated external defibrillator that’s small, portable, and easy to transport. Defibrillating within 3 minutes following cardiac arrest significantly increases a victim’s chances of survival, so size and weight are important factors to take into account when you will be rushing the device to a patient’s side.
A typical modern AED only weighs about three pounds, so this usually isn’t too great of a concern. We’ve included notes about size in our product recommendations above.
Buy the Best AED for Office Use & Keep Your Team Safe
A quality defibrillation unit gives you peace of mind and raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in the workplace.
Regardless of where you buy, make sure that you take that all-important step for your team and be ready for a crisis. You never know when a sudden cardiac arrest will strike, and the life that’s saved might be yours.