U.S. patent number 6,871,093 B2, assigned to Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., Eindhoven, the Netherlands and listing the inventor as Kim J. Hansen, Renton, Wash., describes the earliest details of the HeartStart defibrillator's design. The patent, which included the drawing below, was filed Dec. 28, 2000 and issued March 22, 2005.
Major milestones in the AED's history are listed below in descending chronological order:
Sept. 16, 2004: The FDA clears the HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED) for over-the-counter prescription-less sale to home users. On the same day, the AHA endorses this move.
April 12, 2004: A U.S. Federal Aviation (FAA) mandate goes into effect, requiring U.S. airlines to carry AEDs on all large passenger-carrying aircraft.
Nov. 13, 2002: The FDA clears Philips' HeartStart AED, the first of a new generation of defibrillators for home use.
May 2, 2001: The FDA clears the first AED for use on infants and children under the age of eight, when equipped with specially designed defibrillation pads.
Oct. 25, 2000: CVS/Pharmacy offers defibrillators to consumers with prescriptions at CVS.com, marking the first time a device is available through a consumer retail channel.
March 2, 1999: The American Red Cross announces the inclusion of defibrillator training as part of its standard CPR training course for U.S businesses to ensure that employee lay rescuers are trained and equipped to save lives at work.
Sept. 12, 1998: The FDA clears the industry's first AED using biphasic technology. Published studies later demonstrate that this waveform, which uses less energy, has superior first-shock efficacy and induces less cardiac dysfunction in the heart.