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AED Legislation Types & Terminology

During our research for this guide, we found that the majority of laws related to AEDs fall into 5 distinct categories: good samaritan laws, ownership and management regulations, training programs and requirements, mandatory installation, and programs that provide funding and support for increased AED distribution. Below, we break each of these categories apart and identify the unique terms you may come across in regards to each of them.

Good Samaritan Laws:These laws protect individuals involved in a rescue effort from legal action and liability.There are several types of people who can be protected under these laws. Keep in mind these protections are generally contingent on the purchaser or owner following all state regulations.

Rescuer- the person or persons who administers the AED during an emergency.
Purchaser- the individual or group who purchased the AED. protection is often contingent on following management protocols.
Property Owner- individual or business who owns property where an AED was used.
Physician- the doctor who authorized a prescription for the AED and/or was responsible for physician oversight.

Ownership Regulations: Most states require the owner or purchaserof an AED to follow set standards and protocols. This is for the benefit of the owner as well as the community. Below are some common regulations. As mentioned above, these regulations must be followed for purchaser and owner to be covered by Good Samaritan Laws.

AED Training- "Expected users" may be required to receive AED and cpr training.
Physician Oversight- requires a m.D. to oversee an AED management program.
Maintenance and Testing- AEDs are generally required by law to follow a maintenance and testing schedule as outlined by the manufacturer.
Ems Notification- upon purchase, an AED may need to be registered with the local Ems or other agency such as the Department of health.
Emergency Plan and Management- requirements for the AED owner to create a plan for emergency situations and general management of the AED.

Training Programs and Requirements:While training regulations generally fall into laws geared towards general AED management as detailed below, there are some special additions.

State-Approved Programs- the state will mandate which training programs are acceptable for certification. generally American red cross and American heart Association courses are approved.
Required Certification- some states require AED and cpr certification for individuals working in particular fields such as personal trainers, childcare workers, and nursing home staff.
School Training- some states are now offering AED and cpr certification as part of credit based classes for high school students. other states are requiring all students to be trained in AED and cpr prior to graduation.

Mandatory Installation: Many states are now requiring various organizations and types of businesses to install a public access AED. Some common required locations are listed below.

Schools- special focus on high school and college gyms but quickly expanding to include elementary and middle schools as well.
Fitness Clubs- one of the more common places with such a requirement. swimming pools and other recreational facilities are also sometimes affected.
Dentist Offices- generally required for dentists who use anesthesia. nursing homes- may also apply to assisted living facilities.

AED Funding and Support:These type of laws set up a trust or organization to increase access to AEDs. Do note that often funding is only established for a short period and may not always be available.

Funding Programs- some states have set up unique funds to help organizations especially schools implement AEDs.
AED Support Proclamations- often a state may feel AEDs are necessary in schools or other locations, but not have the funds they feel is needed for a mandate. they might issue an official statement through a piece of legislation that strongly encourages schools to procure AEDs as their budget allows.

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