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Can Anyone in Canada purchase an AED?

Can Anyone in Canada purchase an AED?

Can Anyone in Canada purchase an AED? 

In Canada, the prevalence of sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) underscores the importance of accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public spaces, workplaces, and homes. SCA can strike anyone, anywhere, regardless of age or health status, making the presence of AEDs crucial for timely intervention and potentially life-saving assistance. However, the question remains: Can anyone in Canada purchase an AED?

Understanding AEDs:

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and delivers a shock to restore normal heart rhythm in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Its ease of use, coupled with its effectiveness in emergencies, has made it a vital tool in the chain of survival.

Regulations Surrounding AED Purchase:

In Canada, the regulations regarding the purchase of AEDs vary by province and territory. While there are no federal laws prohibiting individuals from buying AEDs, certain regulations govern their sale, possession, and use.

  1. Prescription Requirement: There is no longer a provincial requirement to have a prescription to purchase an AED.  AEDs have been de-regulated and can we purchased by anyone.  

  2. Training and Certification:  It is not necessary, but it is recommended that individuals undergo training in CPR and AED operation. Many organizations offer certification courses that equip participants with the skills needed to respond effectively to cardiac emergencies.

  3. Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Programs: Many provinces encourage the deployment of AEDs in public spaces through PAD programs. These initiatives aim to increase the availability of AEDs in areas where sudden cardiac arrests are likely to occur, such as sports facilities, airports, and shopping malls.

  4. Maintenance and Registration: AED owners are typically responsible for maintaining their devices according to manufacturer guidelines and ensuring that they are registered with local emergency medical services (EMS) or public health authorities. Regular maintenance, including battery checks and electrode pad replacement, is essential to ensure the device remains in working condition when needed.

  5. Liability Protection: Good Samaritan laws in Canada provide legal protection to individuals who use an AED in good faith to assist someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. These laws shield rescuers from liability as long as they act reasonably.

Accessibility and Advocacy:

Despite the regulatory landscape, efforts are underway to make AEDs more accessible to the general public. Advocacy groups, healthcare organizations, and government agencies in Canada are working to raise awareness about the importance of AEDs and improve access through initiatives such as public funding, subsidies for AED purchases, and widespread training programs.

Furthermore, advancements in AED machine technology, such as simplified operation and interactive voice prompts, have made these devices more user-friendly, reducing barriers to adoption by individuals and organizations alike.

The Role of Communities:

Communities play a vital role in increasing AED accessibility and awareness. By advocating for the placement of AEDs in public and private spaces, supporting CPR and AED training initiatives, and fostering a culture of preparedness, communities can significantly improve outcomes for individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.


The overarching goal is to ensure that these life-saving devices are readily available and used effectively in emergencies. By understanding local requirements, seeking appropriate training, and advocating for increased AED accessibility, individuals and communities can contribute to a safer and more prepared society, where prompt intervention can make all the difference in saving lives. is here to help answer any questions that you may have.  

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Where to buy an AED in Canada


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