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Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator (AED)

Philips HeartStart home defibrillatorPhilips has a high reputation for its home defibrillators. The best starting points for more information on the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator (AED) are the resuscitation page at the company's own website and its HeartStart website.

According to the company:

More cardiac arrests happen at home than in any other setting. Defibrillation is the only effective treatment for VF [ventricular fibrillation], but it must be administered within 10 minutes of onset to restore the victim's regular heart rhythm. By having a defibrillator in your home, you can be prepared for this potentially devastating event. It's easier than many people think and can give you real peace-of-mind.

The Mayo Clinic website carries an extensive commentary in its Heart Disease section, titled, "Automated external defibrillators: Do you need an AED?" It says:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first over-the-counter AED for home use in late 2004. Because it's over-the-counter, you don't need a prescription to buy it. The only automated external defibrillator approved for home use without a prescription is the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator. The HeartStart AED can be used on children as young as 9 who weigh at least 55 pounds.

The home AED comes with a short instructional training video that shows you how to use and maintain the device.

In an emergency, the automated external defibrillator essentially makes the decisions for you. It offers step-by-step voice instructions to guide you through the defibrillation process. It explains how to check for breathing and a pulse and how to position electrode pads on the person's chest.

Once the pads are in place, the AED automatically analyzes the person's heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. If it is, the machine tells you to stand back and instructs you to push a button to deliver the shock. It will also guide you through CPR. The process can be repeated as needed until emergency crews take over.

The Wall Street Journal reviewed the unit, and commented (no longer online):

The HeartStart is designed for easy portability, or you can just keep it in the home, preferably within close proximity to the room where you and your family spend most of your time. Though its nylon red casing might not exactly blend perfectly with your d├ęcor, it won't be overlooked in an emergency scenario. The device is smaller than a kid's lunchbox, and weighs about four pounds in its case.

...The HeartStart Home Defibrillator is a well-designed and easy-to-use device that doesn't intimidate or scare off average users. Whether you're using the instruction booklet or following the automatic voice instructions, you won't have any trouble using the HeartStart. And even though it's pricey, its cost pales next to the value of the lives it might save.

Early in 2005, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke at Stanford University, and he noted that (no longer online):

The most-wished-for product in the [Amazon.com] health and personal care category is the Philips HeartStart Home Automated External Defibrillator, which is priced at $1,495, he said. Second on the list is a Panasonic Nose and Ear Groomer.

Forbes magazine included it in a "Connoisseur's Guide" titled "Ten Gadgets That Will Improve Your Life."

A review on the Gearlog website said:

It's not something the instructors usually talk about, but while doing CPR on a person whose heart has stopped beating is better than doing nothing, it's only slightly better. Performing CPR is far from a sure-thing where patient survival is concerned. Fortunately, we have a relatively new tool that really does put the power to save a life into anyone's hands. And now it's so affordable it's being advertised on TV!

...AEDs belong in all public places, most offices, and many homes. They're an excellent investment for life.

Amazon.com contains more than 75, mainly-glowing reviews. Here's an excerpt from one:

I have taught CPR for almost 35 years and currently head up an American Heart Association Training Center. My instructors have had access to the top 4 AED trainers for over 5 years, but every one of them prefers to use the Philips Medical Heartstart. The other trainers gather dust.

The Philips line of AED's began as HeartStream in the late 1990s and were the first on the market with FDA-approved biphasic (2 directional) shocks, first to put AED's on airplanes (American Airlines), first with FDA-approved Pediatric Pads,the first and currently only AED officially approved by the American Dental Association, and the first to be able to be purchased without a doctor's prescription. And considering that just a few years ago, AED's cost almost $5000, the price makes it a steal! If you have a loved one in your home with a heart condition, this is the device for you!

Philips also produces various accessories for the HeartStart, and it makes the similar Philips HeartStart OnSite AED Defibrillator. Amazon.com is one of the best sources of information on all these.

* Get the Latest Price on the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator (AED).

See also my reports Philips HeartStart Defibrillator - Why Is It So Popular? and Automatic External Defibrillator - Do You Need One?

Learn more about the HeartStart's two main rivals, the Zoll AED Plus Package Defibrillator and the Welch Allyn AED 10 Automated External Defibrillator.

And check out the Amazon.com Bestsellers in Defibrillators rankings, updated hourly, to see what people are buying.

Updated: January 14th, 2010

 

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