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Automated External Defibrillator Protocol

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Policy 303.17

1 Introduction

1.1 Appalachian State University and its Occupational Safety and Health Office are committed to the safety and health of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Recent studies indicate that nearly 250,000 persons each year die of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The most optimistic estimates suggest that approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of persons who suffer SCA could be saved with optimal emergency care. One of the key components to "optimal emergency care" is early defibrillation. It is suggested that for every minute that a victim of SCA waits for defibrillation, chances for survival decrease by 10%.

1.2 Due to technological improvements and lower costs, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) may now be safely acquired, installed and used by University departments to save victims of sudden cardiac arrest. An AED is used to urgently diagnose and treat ventricular fibrillation. An AED is attached to a victim's chest to assess the heart's rhythm. If appropriate, the device will recommend that a shock be delivered to resume a safe rhythm for the victim's heart. When delivered, a metered electrical charge may restore the heart's functionality and often saves the victim's life.

2 Scope

3 Definitions

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Planning

4.1.1 AEDs are most successful when their first shock is delivered within 3-4 minutes of sudden cardiac arrest onset. Thus, it is important that AEDs are installed where they are most likely to be needed, and in highly visible, easily accessible locations, so that trained personnel can find and access them in a timely manner. Before the placement, selection, purchase and training of personnel with respect to any AEDs it is important to involve all appropriate parties in this process. Contact personnel include the Safety Director, the Medical Director, the Purchasing Director, representatives of all areas where the AED will be located, and legal counsel.

4.1.2 This Protocol is provided to ensure that AEDs installed on campus are adequately maintained and safely used, and to promote training and easy access to installed AEDs. University departments and administrative units that choose to purchase an AED must comply with this Protocol. NOTE: Departments are strongly encouraged to contact the Purchasing Director to discuss recommended AED models and vendors available on the State Purchase and Contract List, and purchase AEDs from the approved list prior to making final purchase decisions.

4.2 Liability and Good Samaritan Laws

4.2.1 North Carolina law allows for the use of an AED that meets specified criteria during an emergency for the purpose of attempting to save the life of another person who is, or who appears to be, in cardiac arrest. North Carolina law also expressly provides immunity from civil liability for those who provide and use such devices to attempt to save a life, or otherwise render first aid or emergency health care treatment (e.g. CPR) in certain circumstances; provided, however, such laws do not shield individuals from liability for gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing.

4.3 AED Owner Responsibilities

Departments and other administrative units who acquire an AED (i.e., AED Owners) are responsible for maintaining the device to the standards of its manufacturer, the programmatic standards of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, and complying with these Protocols. AED owners must:

4.3.1 Designate a person who is responsible for management of the AED (i.e., departmental responsible person).

The responsible person will:

  1. Ensure that inspections and maintenance are conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with written user and service manuals provided by the manufacturer.
  2. Provide or arrange for training and refresher training in AED use for their staff, such that:
    1. Training is conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with written user and service manuals provided by the manufacturer.
    2. A sufficient number of staff are trained so that at least one trained staff person is on-site during normal business hours.
    3. Training is documented in writing, and training records are forwarded to the Occupational Safety and Health Office.
    4. Staff should be recertified at the frequency specified by the certifying program, but not longer than two (2) years.
  3. Notify the Occupational Safety and Health Office of any AED installations.
  4. Allow easy access to the AED by students, faculty, staff and visitors who are in the vicinity.
  5. Maintain on-site records, inspections, training, and other supporting documentation.
  6. In the event of equipment use, immediately inspect the equipment and replenish supplies as needed to insure the AED meets manufacturer's requirements.

4.4 Occupational Safety and Health Office Responsibilities

  1. Maintain a list of AEDs on campus as well as their locations.
  2. Provide the list of AEDs on campus to University Police.
  3. Maintain AED department/area training records.

4.5 Physician Responsibilities

4.5.1 It is strongly recommended that AEDs be purchased by prescription (though not required by NC state law) since AED use requires medical direction by a licensed physician. This individual will provide medical expertise on the proper use of AEDs.

4.5.2 Contact the Occupational Safety and Health Office at 262-6120 if you have questions concerning this Protocol.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

October 5, 2005

9 Revision Dates

November 6, 2008