Automated External Defibrillator (AED machine) Lifespan FAQs

How does age affect the Semi or Automatic External Defibrillator and its reliability?

The purchase date and age of the defibrillator determines if it is still under the original warranty period.  The older the life-saving portable defibrillator unit, the more likely it is that it has experienced an obsolescence.  This is a result of technology changes and improvements to design or usability.

What is an out of warranty Automated External Defibrillator?

An AED is out of warranty when the manufacturer’s warranty period has expired.  During the warranty period, a repair is performed at no cost to the owner.  A “call for service” is determined during nightly AED self-testing when the need for maintenance of the machine occurs.

Many manufacturers continue to offer repair services on units which have a “call for service” after the warranty period ends. The repair charge is based on an hourly rate, plus the cost of parts needed for the repair (Loaner AEDs may not be offered). 

What is an “End of Life” determination?

After a warranty ends, if the manufacturer cannot obtain parts (electrodes/pads, batteries, etc.) for older defibrillators and therefore cannot adequately support maintenance, “End of Life” determination is issued. This usually occurs many years after the original warranty ends. 

Why don’t all manufacturers “End of Life” older AEDS?

Manufacturers regularly release newer AED models and technology.  Some manufacturers will continue to offer the same model with new warranties.

How will I know that my AED brand and model has been discontinued or “End of Life”?

“End of Life” notifications include notifying the FDA of discontinuance of support by the manufacturer.

Manufacturers typically notify customers, corporate sales staff and distribution partners of their decision to initiate an “End of Life” on a product through a variety of methods, such as phone and email correspondence to the last known contact.

Manufacturers identify a date on which they no longer support the defibrillator models labeled “End of Life”.  This means that they no longer provide or deliver accessory components to support the continued use of the AED model or serial number series identified as “End of Life”.  They may offer trade-in opportunities and/or discounts associated with replacement of the defibrillator for a limited time.

Will my defibrillator stop working when an “End of Life” or discontinuance occurs?

An “End of Life” determination does not stop the AED from functioning.  Although the manufacturer may not offer replacement accessories, the defibrillator owner may still be able to purchase replacement accessories from distribution partners.  Sometimes the manufacturer will request that distribution partners also do not supply replacement parts on very old and “End of Life” AEDs. As a cautionary note, if aftermarket parts are used, it may affect the ability to perform properly.

What is my recourse if the AED is out of warranty and has a “call for service”?

 A “call for service” repair after the warranty period is costly.  The defibrillator manufacturer is no longer responsible for unbilled repair or required to replace a defibrillator that shows a “call for service”. Repair of one component will not guarantee that another component will not fail after a repair is made.  It is also possible that the AED will not be able to be repaired.

How do I determine whether or not I should replace my AED?

Choosing to replace an out of warranty AED should include the following considerations:

1)    Does the organization which owns the machine have a standard in place for replacing items such as computers, copy machines, telephones, and other technology when the warranty is up?

    a.    Would that standard affect the decision to keep out of warranty AEDs?

2)    Is the ownership based on a mandate or a legal requirement?

    a.    Because of the owner’s “risk in the public domain,” could an out of warranty AED increase liability if an incident occurs and the outcome be unfavorable?

    b.    Is the machine still indemnified by the manufacturer after the warranty period ends?

3)    What is the condition of the machine at the end of the warranty?

    a.    The assessment should be based on the physical appearance of the AED and could be used as a determination for replacement.

    b.    An AED that has suffered water or physical damage should be replaced.

4)    What is the fiscal budgeting plan for succession and replacement of out of warranty items?

5)    Is there more advanced technology available that would provide better performance if the out of warranty unit was replaced?

6)    Is the AED still operating?

7)    Should you be pro-active in replacement?

    a.    i.e. Per manufacturer recommendation, the Physio CR Plus should be pro-actively replaced prior to the internal battery failure occurring.


How can Cardiac Life© help me when I decide to replace my defibrillator?

Cardiac Life© offers special pricing for your trade-in AED.  We responsibly recycle old AEDs, batteries, and electrodes.  Our staff is knowledgeable and experienced with Public Access Defibrillation and will help you determine the best choices for your program and policies.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is when the heart stops suddenly, usually due to ventricular fibrillation.  Sudden Cardiac Arrest is different from a heart attack.  Unlike a heart attack, a victim of SCA has no heart rhythm.  During Sudden Cardiac Arrest, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.  When a shock to the heart from an AED and chest compressions from Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) are combined, an SCA victim's chance of survival increases by 66.5%.   

Cardiac Life also offers a CPR and AED training program for the individual or for an organization.  To help increase the Cardiac Arrest survival rate in the United States we want to help you gain the skills to save a life.  

To speak with a representative please call (585) 267-7775 or email