Defibrillators to be Used by All, Lawmakers Hope


 
 

James Thalman | | Friday, September 19, 2008


JEMS.com Editor's Note: In his June 8, 2008 Street Science article, Dr. Keith Wesley discusses a study that attempted to determine whether home AEDs improved survival of 7,001 patients in the Home AED Trial. Read "Did AEDs Make a Difference?" to see what Dr. Wesley says about the study.

Two proposals aimed at broadening the use of technology to intervene in heart attacks and to allow the state Department of Health to track disease outbreaks in real time received preliminary approval by lawmakers during interim committee meetings Wednesday.

The Utah Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival Act would permit people without a license or CPR certificate to use an automatic external defibrillator on anyone reasonably believed to be in sudden cardiac arrest. The measure would provide immunity from civil liability if the AED was operated correctly and the action did not constitute gross negligence or willfully misusing the apparatus.

AED's are saving thousands of lives and being used without any previous training in workplaces and buildings where they are located, Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, told members of the Health and Human Services Interim Committee. The new models of AED's pass the "crayon test," he said, meaning that anyone stepping into help a heart attack victim can use the machine. It gives step-by-step instructions and determines if a heart attack is indeed under way.

The bill would also replace a state database and would advise the nearest location of an AED that might be closer and more quickly administered than waiting for emergency medical help to arrive.

A quicker response is the hope of a new disease outbreak surveillance system proposed to by public health administrators. A real-time reporting system has been requested before, but the 2007 summer outbreak of illnesses due to cryptosporidium exposure may add some urgency to the proposal.

Real-time monitoring would have likely prevented, or at least dramatically cut, the number of people who got sick a year ago, state health officials said. Exposure to fecal material in swimming pools initiated the outbreak that led to 1,963 confirmed cases -- the largest outbreak in U.S. history, according to state health department records. There are around 30 cases annually in Utah, and 14 cases the previous summer. E-mail: jthalman@desnews.com




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Cardiac and Circulation, Leadership and Professionalism, Legal and Ethical, Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >