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Automatic defibrillator approved for sale without prescription

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7468.703-c (Published 23 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:703
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

    The US Food and Drug Administration granted “over the counter” status to Phillips Medical's automatic external defibrillator (AED), on 16 September.


    Embedded Image

    US families will now be able to buy defibrillators, which are usually only available in public places (above) for use in the home

    Credit: TIM BOYCE/GETTY IMAGES

    This is the first time that an AED has been approved for sale without a prescription. It can be used for adults and for children aged 8 years or older or who weigh at least 3 stone 13 pounds (25 kg).

    About 95% of the 340 000 annual US adult deaths from sudden cardiac arrest occur outside hospital, says the American Heart Association. “Many of …

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