New Texas Law could save thousands of lives

CW39

CHICAGO – NOVEMBER 12: A sign locating an Automated External Defibrillator is visible in Terminal 1 November 12, 2003 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a user-friendly device that when used properly on a person suffering a sudden cardiac arrest administers an electric shock to the heart. Its built-in microprocessor then assesses the patient’s heart rhythm, judging whether more defibrillation would be needed. The Chicago Airport System implemented the first public-access defibrillation program at all its airports, including O’Hare International Airport. Defibrillators are strategically located throughout the airport terminals within a one-minute walk from any point in the airport. The units are in cabinets that are directly linked to the City of Chicago’s emergency medical services. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

HOUSTONTexas (KIAH) Texas businesses and organizations could soon save the lives of many in the state thanks to a new law that will make it easier for them to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

The law will take effect on Wednesday, September 1 and was passed with unanimous, bi-partisan support.  It was endorsed by the American Heart Association, the Texas Medical Association, and industry groups like the Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association.

Many Texas businesses had been reluctant to have AEDs because Texas was one of fewer than 15 states that allowed a business to be sued if an AED was not used properly. Texas also required that businesses put all employees through a two-hour training course as a precondition for having an AED.

The new reforms improve the state`s AED laws in three ways:

  • Businesses and organizations who own, manage, or occupy a property where an AED is placed will no longer have civil liability for any misuse of, or failure to use, their AED
  • Businesses and organizations will not have to train everyone in their building as a prerequisite for having an AED, and
  • Businesses will be required to check their AEDs monthly to ensure they are ready for use.

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