Back to the Legalese of the AED

Continuing in my series on the legal aspects of selling, purchasing or owning an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) today I'm citing two RSA's:

Automated External Defibrillator

Section 153-A:28

153-A:28 Intent. –
I. The use of automated external defibrillators addresses an important public health problem in New Hampshire. It is the intent of the legislature to encourage the use and availability of automated external defibrillators, along with training in the use of automated external defibrillators, for the purpose of saving the lives of people in cardiac arrest.
II. Further, the legislature strongly encourages dissemination of educational information regarding automated external defibrillators and encourages that access to these lifesaving devices be made widely available to businesses, schools, fire and police departments, and other public and private organizations throughout the state.
Source. 2000, 302:4, eff. June 21, 2000. 2002, 156:5, eff. July 14, 2002.

Pretty clear common sense. The State of New Hampshire encourages the use and availability of AED's. They also encourage training and information on them.

Section 153-A:29

153-A:29 Definitions. – For purposes of this subdivision, "automated external defibrillator" means a medical device which combines a heart monitor and defibrillator and:
I. Has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;
II. Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation;
III. Is capable of determining whether defibrillation should be performed; and
IV. Automatically charges and requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's heart, upon determination that defibrillation should be performed.
Source. 2000, 302:4, eff. June 21, 2000. 2002, 156:5, eff. July 14, 2002.

RSA 153-A:29 basically defines what an AED is. It monitors the hearts electrical rhythm, analyzes and determines the hearts rhythm, and determines if the patient as a heart rhythm that would benefit from a shock.

A question that has come up in classes lately is how exactly the AED works. I think I've blogged about this before, but basically the AED analyzes the heart's electrical rhythm. During Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) the heart's electrical system is misfiring and the heart just quivers. The AED shocks the heart, not to start it, but to stop it. That allows the heart to begin beating with a normal electrical rhythm. Kind of like hard rebooting your computer.


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