External Defibrillator versus an Internal Defibrillator

External Defibrillator versus an Internal Defibrillator

An external defibrillator and an internal defibrillator are essentially the same machine, serving the same purpose, but in two different scenarios. An internal defibrillator is classified as such because it is actually implanted into the patient’s body in order to continuously monitor the heart rate and deliver automated defibrillation if it detects a dangerous drop in the heart rate. An external defibrillator, on the other hand, is meant to be an external device kept on hand for the possibility of an emergency cardiac arrest.

An external defibrillator is generally a portable device that is strategically placed, often in wall cabinets, in locations where large numbers of people gather; churches, office buildings, hotels, casinos, and even hospitals often keep an external defibrillator or multiple external defibrillators on hand. Internal defibrillators, on the other hand, are generally prescribed to an individual who is at risk of suffering a cardiac arrest or heart attack.

The purpose of having an external defibrillator on hand in any public setting is to be able to treat sudden cardiac arrest. Unlike a heart attack, a sudden cardiac arrest can occur at any time to anyone –regardless of their health or the health of their heart. It is a sudden and catastrophic event, and having an external defibrillator on hand can literally mean the difference between life and death. At the onset of a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart begins to die at a rate of 10% per minute, which means that ten minutes equates to death. At five minutes the brain permanent brain damage can occur, and the chances of damage increase with every second. An external defibrillator administered within the first five minutes can literally mean not only the difference between life and death, but an external defibrillator can also mean the difference between living a normal life or living a life hindered by possible neurological problems, or possibly even living in a vegetative state.

If you are interested in purchasing or leasing an external defibrillator, click here today.

Back to AED Education Articles


Implementation Guide

Get Your Site Assesment

0% Complete


You're all done! See your recommended AED's below.

The best AED for your needs

Philips HeartStart OnSite AED M5066A


Philips HeartStart FRx AED with FREE Carry Case 861304


Cardiac Science Powerheart® G5 AED


Defibtech View AED






Would you like these results sent to your email?

If so, just fill our your email address below and submit.

We value your privacy and will not share, sell or rent your personal information. View our privacy policy.
Which is the best AED for my needs?
Let us help you identify the best options using our tool, Zappy!
AEDs that are budget friendly without compromising quality and performance.
Portability (Size/Wt.)
AEDs that are compact and lightweight. Great for travel and small spaces.
Durability (Dust/Water Resistance)
AEDs with high resistance to dust and water damage. Perfect for outdoors, areas near water, vehicles, and industrial settings.
CPR Feedback
AEDs with audible and/or visual feedback on the quality of compressions given during CPR. Great for untrained responders or those with limited training.
Fully Automatic Option
No shock button. The AED will automatically deliver a shock if needed. Removes the responsibility from the user. Great for untrained responders.
Pediatric Method
A pediatric key or button eliminates the need to purchase pediatric pads.
Maintenance Cost
Cost of replacement supplies for the life of the AED.
Remote Monitor Option
This feature reports the status of the AED to a web portal. Great for large or multi-location deployments. Cuts down on administrative workload. Adds accountability and ensures readiness.
Dual Language
AEDs that can toggle between two languages. Great for deployments that have diversity. English/Spanish is the preset option. Must request for alternative languages.
Required Inspection Interval
Each state requires AED maintenance per manufacturer guidelines. Some AEDs save time by requiring inspections less frequently. Great for large or multi-location deployments.