U.S. House of Representatives Passes Crucial AED Legislation
On the heels of the first National CPR and AED Awareness Week, the American Red Cross applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for making safety a top priority with the passage of legislation that will establish a federal grant program to provide schools with funds for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR/AED training.
The Josh Miller HEARTS (Helping Everyone Access Responsive Treatment in Schools) Act (H.R. 4926), which passed on June 9, establishes a national grant program through the Department of Education to fund the installation of AEDs in schools and training of staff in their use. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) in December, 2007, and was supported by 100 cosponsors.
“This legislation will help make our schools safer places to learn and work,” said Rep. Sutton. “AEDs are the single most effective treatment for those suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. By ensuring that schools have access to these lifesaving devices, we can prevent needless deaths in communities across the country.”
Each year more than 166,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest, and sadly, only about six percent survive. On average, it takes emergency personnel 8-10 minutes to arrive on scene. Scientific studies show that for every minute defibrillation is delayed; there is an approximate 10 percent decrease in the likelihood of resuscitation.
“Increasing access to AEDs and CPR/AED training is an essential part of our mission and we hope the Senate will embrace this issue as well,” said Scott Conner, senior vice president for American Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Services. “Our vision is for all Americans to be within four minutes of an AED device and someone trained to use it. By making AEDs readily available and teaching simple rescue skills, we empower people to go from being helpless bystanders to heroes with the ability to help someone during an emergency.”
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