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Medical News and Perspectives
October 20, 2004

FDA OKs Nonprescription Defibrillators

JAMA. 2004;292(15):1809. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1809

Consumers no longer need a physician’s prescription to purchase automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) for home use in the case of sudden cardiac arrest.

Noting that emergency responders take at least 9 minutes to reach a patient whose heart has stopped, advocates said the September 16 decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant over-the-counter status for a home defibrillator means more people with sudden cardiac arrest will be saved. The approval was granted for Phillips Medical Systems’ (Andover, Mass) HeartStart Home Defibrillator.

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