Access to AEDs Act

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In response to high-profile sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) events, a bipartisan group of legislators has recently introduced the Access to AEDs Act. The legislation would establish a federal grant program to provide schools with awareness, training, and access to AEDs. Contact your legislators today to ask them to support this important bill.

The Background

SCA is a life-threatening emergency caused by a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system or structure, caused by an abnormality from birth or one that develops over time. More than 7,000 children have a SCA each year, and 39% of SCAs are sports-related. Survival from SCA more than doubles when a bystander uses a publicly available AED, as compared with waiting for emergency responders to arrive and administer an AED shock.

Currently, only 23 states have AED school requirements. The Access to AEDs Act would provide funding for schools to:

  • Purchase AEDs and their necessary batteries and maintenance.
  • Replace old and outdated CPR and AED equipment, machinery, and educational materials.
  • Provide CPR and AED training to students, staff, and related sports volunteers.
  • Develop a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan.
  • Assist schools’ athletic departments in developing heart screening programs for student athletes consistent with ACC/AHA guidelines.
  • Establish a clearinghouse database for the reporting of AED devices already in schools.
  • Establish a clearinghouse database to gather information on SCA in the pediatric population for further research.

Take Action

As the most trusted profession in the country, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association believes that nurses have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their patients through public policy.