At AED.US, we hold in the highest regard our early adopters of public access AEDs. By the mid-1990s, the critical need to defibrillate a heart in cardiac arrest within minutes of the episode, pressed the issue to have AEDs present and available outside of the hospital footprint. The American public began to see AEDs in airports, AEDs in the workplace, AEDs in schools, AEDs in places-of-worship, AEDs at sporting events. And we began to see more lives saved because of early intervention and onsite defibrillation. We also began to understand a resistance to our mission of making AEDs as prominent as fire extinguishers. We realized that when it came to the proliferation of public access defibrillation (P.A.D.) initiatives, legislation and litigation would greatly influence the action and reaction of our prospective customers.
Since you are visiting our website and reading this segment, we know you have a desire to be prepared for a cardiac emergency and you want to understand the legal guidelines for AEDs which the federal government and your state have put in place. Some questions arise:
- What training is needed for an AED?
- Do I need a prescription for an AED?
- Can I be held liable when I am trying to save someone with an AED?
AED.us will answer all of your AED questions and provide you with easy-to-access resources that explain your state’s AED guidelines. Knowledge is power, and you are minutes away from being empowered to become that critical link in the cardiac arrest chain-of-survival!
Important legislation affecting AEDs:
What is the Volunteer Protection Act?
The federal Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) of 1997, provides protection for uncompensated volunteers of government entities and nonprofit organizations for harm potentially caused by their acts or omissions.
What is the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act?
Some states have adopted the UEVHPA of 2007 to protect volunteer health practitioners (i.e. nurses, medics, physicians) who render aid during an emergency and/or natural disaster.
What are Good Samaritan Laws?
Good Samaritan laws provide basic legal protection for those who assist a person who is injured or in danger. In essence, these laws protect the “Good Samaritan” from liability if unintended consequences result from their assistance.
In 2000, the federal Cardiac Arrest Survival Act was signed into law; it was designed to expand the availability of AEDs in public settings and provide limited immunity from civil liability to a person who uses or attempts to use an AED on a victim of a perceived medical emergency. Additionally, all 50 states and the District of Columbia now include AED usage as part of their Good Samaritan laws. These laws vary by state but generally protect a bystander from civil liability for voluntarily aiding someone who is injured or ill in an emergency. Laws vary from state-to-state, so please reference our AED Legislation section to see what your state requires.
Does my state require Medical Direction?
Several states require that you have medical direction when purchasing an AED. Here are all the states that REQUIRE medical direction (as of February 2020): Arizona, Arkansas, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Washington DC, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Montana, Oklahoma, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, and Mississippi.