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Resuscitation. 2013 Nov;84(11):1596-603. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.05.017. Epub 2013 Jun 2.

Electrical features of eighteen automated external defibrillators: a systematic evaluation.

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AREU Azienda Regionale Emergenza Urgenza (Lombardia Regional Emergency Service), Italy. Electronic address:



Assessment and comparison of the electrical parameters (energy, current, first and second phase waveform duration) among eighteen AEDs.


Engineering bench tests for a descriptive systematic evaluation in commercially available AEDs. AEDs were tested through an ECG simulator, an impedance simulator, an oscilloscope and a measuring device detecting energy delivered, peak and average current, and duration of first and second phase of the biphasic waveforms. All tests were performed at the engineering facility of the Lombardia Regional Emergency Service (AREU).


Large variations in the energy delivered at the first shock were observed. The trend of current highlighted a progressive decline concurrent with the increases of impedance. First and second phase duration varied substantially among the AEDs using the exponential biphasic waveform, unlike rectilinear waveform AEDs in which phase duration remained relatively constant.


There is a large variability in the electrical features of the AEDs tested. Energy is likely not to be the best indicator for strength dose selection. Current and shock duration should be both considered when approaching the technical features of AEDs. These findings may prompt further investigations to define the optimal current and duration of the shock waves to increase the success rate in the clinical setting.


Automated external defibrillators; Current; Energy; Ventricular fibrillation; Waveform

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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