Essential Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Refurbished AED

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a major investment. For many smaller businesses or schools, the option of purchasing refurbished AEDs is attractive for their competitive pricing. But before you click that button, it is important to answer these essential questions in order to ensure you are receiving the equipment you are hoping for. 


1. What is a refurbished AED?

First, it is important to define what a "refurbished" AED is. Contrary to popular belief, a refurbished model has not been used in an emergency situation. In most cases, these AEDs were taken from their box, placed in an AED cabinet and left there until they were traded in for credit toward a new model. These previously owned AEDs are then rigorously tested, their batteries and electrodes replaced, and resold at a significant cost savings.

2. Does the company selling refurbished AEDs meet FDA specifications?

According to the FDA, there is a difference between a "refurbished" model and a "reconditioned" model. In the case of a "reconditioned" AED, these models are restored to their original condition when they are new. This sounds attractive until you consider software updates and other upgrades that may happen over the lifetime of an AED. "Refurbished" models have been restored to a condition that is comparable to when it was new, including updates and upgrades that don't change the functionality of the original device.

3. Does the refurbished AED come with a warranty?

Many companies do not offer warranties on refurbished AEDs, preferring to allow the customer to assume the risk of purchasing a previously owned product. Others prefer only offer a 30-day warranty covering parts, but not labor. At One Beat Medical, all of our refurbished AEDs can be purchased with a one-year parts and labor warranty, guaranteeing your product for much longer than the industry average.

4. Does the refurbished AED have FDA Pre-Market Approval?

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As of February 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all AED manufacturers to put their devices through a rigorous testing procedure to receive Pre-Market Approval (PMA). While some older models are still in use and working properly, they have been discontinued due to their failure to meet the FDA's PMA process. It is important to only purchase refurbished AEDs that meet these requirements in order to avoid having to purchase an additional AED in the near future. Even with the significant cost savings, purchasing refurbished AEDs may not be appropriate for every setting. However, with sudden cardiac arrest killing more than 320,000 people in the US every year, the presence of an AED has been shown to greatly increase the likelihood of survival for those experiencing cardiac arrest. Having the option to purchase refurbished AEDs gives small clinics, offices, schools, and other businesses the opportunity to provide important, life-saving devices to the general population that would generally not have access to them.

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