Posted on 02/20/2015

SACRAMENTO, CA--Most new buildings in California with an occupancy greater than 200 people would be required to stock electronic devices used to stop cardiac arrest under a new bill.

Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, planned to introduce the bill, SB 287, during a news conference today in San Diego. It would require automated external defibrillators (AEDs) be present in structures built after Jan. 1, 2016. Cities, including San Diego, have already passed similar laws for new buildings.

“It is estimated that 350,000 individuals will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States this year. Unfortunately, studies show that nine out of ten people will not survive this deadly attack,” Hueso said in a press release. “Bottom line, SB 287 aims at saving lives in emergency situations. The goal of this bill makes AEDs readily available, increasing survival rates across the state.” 

State law already requires fitness centers carry defibrillators, which cost between $1,200 and $1,500. 

According to Hueso’s office, the devices have been demonstrated to be safe, effective and easy to use, even when used by lay people. The state has established “liability shields” to protect property owners from the misuse or omission of use of a defibrillator, the office said.

Hueso’s office did not immediately have information Friday about the bill’s overall fiscal impact on business.

“When you put a price on a life, $1,200 is not that much,” said Tanya Duggan, the senator’s spokeswoman.

Hueso’s bill would exempt parking garages, private homes and apartments from the requirement. 

Assembly buildings with an occupancy of 300 or greater, including buildings used for social and religious gatherings, would be required to carry the devices. 

Hueso said cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States, citing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

SOURCE: UT San Diego