Do you need a prescription to buy an AED?

AEDs are manufactured and sold under guidelines approved by the Food and Drug Administration. For most AEDs, the FDA has specific rules that govern who can purchase them. In all but one case, you are required to have a doctor’s prescription for the device since they are considered class 3(III) medical devices.

In addition to a prescription many states will also make sure that an AED owner meet certain conditions as set out by a physician. If you own an AED you’ll probably need to make sure you have a program in place that ensures the proper training, maintenance, and oversight. It will need to comply with both federal and state guidelines. Some states have rules that govern AEDs that are stricter than others.

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