Defibrillators At Schools Could Soon Become Requirement

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt requiring every public school district to provide and maintain an automated external defibrillator (AED) on-site at each school complex was approved by an Assembly panel today. “This is a simple move that can potentially save lives, especially when we’ve seen a number of tragic deaths among student athletes in recent years,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “Because of recent technological advances, portable automated external defibrillators have become an important, live-saving medical tool. With broad deployment of AEDs among trained responders, as many as 50,000 deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest can be prevented each year.”

Each year, more than 250,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest. According to medical experts, the key to survival is timely initiation of a “chain of survival”, including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Trained non-medical personnel can use these simplified electronic machines to treat a person in cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association notes that at least 20,000 lives could be saved annually by prompt use of AEDs.

Lampitt noted that at least 16 other states require or encourage schools to have portable defibrillators on hand.

Under the bill’s provisions, the board of education of the district would determine what constitutes a school complex which could be a single public school building or a group of public school buildings. The district would make its determination based upon the grade levels of the district, distance between buildings, and the type of communication system in place in the district.

The bill also requires the school district to arrange for training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator for school nurses and any other staff members the district may designate. The district must ensure the presence of a staff person who is certified in the operation and use of an automated external defibrillator for any school-sponsored or school approved curricular or extra-curricular event or activity which occurs at the school complex.

Additionally, the bill provides immunity from civil liability for a public school district and its employees in accordance with current law on the use of defibrillators.

The measure was unanimously approved by the Assembly Education Committee and now awaits consideration by the full Assembly. TLS.

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  1. not only that but what about the training, you will need to be trained in CPR atleast yearly for more than 1 person. website shows minimum of four hours. I am sure this will not be free for the schools, so somewhere we will have to pay for this. Tax dollars or tuition for private companies. If this is true, maybe we should see who is capable of teaching in our own EMS agencies, atleast the monies will come back to the town and not peoples buisness pockets.

  2. Another Democratic Jobs Program! Yes this may save lives, but who pays for them, the over taxed tax payers. Some one will have to install them, some one will have to be trained, some one will have to maintain them. The bad thing is they most likely are not made in America. If only these Democrats would fully think out these laws and where the money would come from to comply with the laws.

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