According to OSHA, 10,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrests while at work. Organizations are embracing AED programs because AED use is the best strategy for treating SCA in non-medical settings. AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency when defibrillation is required.
Individuals, agencies, and companies considering the purchase and use of AEDs sometimes fear negligence-related liability suits. As noted by the AHA, the threat of a personal injury claim can be a potential disincentive to lay users of AEDs. Good Samaritan laws were designed to protect those who may find themselves in situations where an emergency requires them to assist another person --situations where the use of an AED may be necessary.
Unfortunately, AED laws are a source of confusion and the purchase and use of an AED involves a complex maze of ever-changing laws and regulations that include both federal and state regulations. At the state level, various regulatory agencies oversee the use of AEDs. Both the FDA and state regulatory agencies determine who can use AEDs and how they may be used.
There are, however, regulations that must be carefully navigated to ensure your AED program is not only compliant, but that personnel charged with aiding victims are prepared.
The Good Samaritan laws, for example, provide protection from civil ligation should any unintended harm occur as the result of a person voluntarily offering reasonable, non-compensated, assistance (such as CPR and the use of an AED device), when assistance is given to a person who appears to be in need of medical assistance. In some states, the Good Samaritan law protects all individuals who help another in an emergent situation, while the laws of other states only shield those with certain training or certifications—in fact, some states only extend the Good Samaritan protection to off-duty and volunteer first responders.
With so much confusion surrounding the Good Samaritan law's protections and application, a succinct review of the law as it pertains to AED devices would be highly valuable. So we at PlusTrac™ created such a review ourselves and are providing it free of charge. Download our free, comprehensive, and easy-to-navigate eBook, Making Sense of AED Laws, today!