Posted on 10/29/2010

ISSAQHAH, WA (PRWEB) --The Oregon Legislature has approved a new bill that would require emergency heart-starting equipment in schools.

If passed, all schools would be required to have Automated Emergency Defibrillators (AEDs); however, some schools are concerned about the cost of the medical equipment. The law would require school districts to pay, update, and maintain the equipment and train staff members on using the equipment.

Each year, more than 950,000 adult Americans die from cardiovascular disease, making it the number one killer in the United States. At least 295,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest before they reach the hospital.

External defibrillators or AEDs are a portable electronic device that can stop heart arrhythmia and thereby help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. These new devices are designed to be used by non-medical personnel who have received AED training; much like the CPR training many people receive.

"The defibrillator device itself is relatively low cost in comparison to ensuring that there is at least a four-hour training, or whatever it may take to have trained people in all 20 buildings to operate a device that's now required by law," said Doug Jantzi with Medford Public Schools.

The new AED devices will analyze the heart rhythm by themselves, diagnose the shockable rhythms and charge to treat. This means that no clinical skill is required in their use. With a few hours of training, just about anyone can learn to operate an AED safely.

Oregon Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland) a practicing physician said, "More and more Oregonians are getting trained in the use of AEDs. The next step to saving lives is to make sure these machines are available in all of our shopping centers, office buildings, sporting arenas and other public places."