In 2006, the Resuscitation Council (UK) BLS/AED Subcommittee designed a standard sign to indicate the presence of an automated external defibrillator (AED). This design fulfils the requirements of the European Union as far as colour, shape, and content are concerned, and it has been accepted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
It is important to have a standard sign that is easily recognised and understood in order to reduce delay in locating an AED in an emergency. We have recommended it to all AED manufacturers for use with their products within the UK.
In 2008 the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) announced that it had approved a universal AED sign. This is very similar to the UK version, but with three minor differences:
There is a white cross in the top right corner
There is an arrowhead at the bottom of the flash
The word AED is used instead of ‘defibrillator’
The BLS/AED Subcommittee has reviewed the ILCOR design. It fulfils legal requirements, but the Subcommittee considers that the UK version is better for our needs. Also, to date, we do not know to what extent Europe and the rest of the world will use the ILCOR design. The BLS/AED Subcommittee has decided, therefore, to continue to recommend the UK sign for use in this country, at least until such time as a significant number of other countries officially endorse the ILCOR version.