Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Effective: August 1, 2007
Reviewed and Updated: August 24, 2021
Contact: Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
Liability and Good Samaritan Laws
-Environmental Health and Safety
-AED Policy Committee
-Incident Notification and Documentation
-Medical Response Documentation
-Office of Risk Management
Regulations and Legislation
The goal of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program is to increase the rate of survival of people who have sudden cardiac arrests. AED programs are designed to provide equipment and training as an important means for providing enhanced life safety response measures. AEDs make it possible for lay responders to administer defibrillation prior to the arrival of Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Iowa State University is committed to the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. This policy establishes an AED program for the ISU campus that will:
- Implement enhanced life safety response measures,
- Meet regulatory compliance,
- Provide continuity and consistency across campus in AED installation, maintenance and use; and,
- Establish AED user training requirements. top
University buildings, departments and other units that have an AED must comply with this policy and are hereafter referred to as an AED owner.
This policy and related procedures set forth the standards and responsibilities for the installation, modification, replacement, repair, inspection, maintenance, and non-medical response of AEDs on the ISU campus. This policy does not pertain to the procedures required during a medical response to a sudden cardiac arrest. top
AED program coordinator: The Department of Environmental Health and Safety will provide the overall coordination of the ISU AED program. Phone (515) 294-5359; Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Automated external defibrillator (AED): A computerized medical device that analyzes heart rhythm to detect cardiac arrest and delivers an electric shock to the heart (defibrillation) if necessary.
Sudden cardiac arrest: A significant life-threatening event when a person’s heart stops or fails to produce a pulse.
Liability and Good Samaritan Laws
Iowa law allows for the use of an AED during an emergency for the purpose of attempting to save the life of another person who is, or who appears to be, in cardiac arrest. Accordingly, Iowa law also expressly provides immunity from civil liability for those who obtain and maintain AEDs, and those who use such devices to attempt to save a life. Iowa Code 613.17, the Iowa Good Samaritan Act, provides that a person who in good faith renders emergency care and assistance, without compensation, shall not be responsible for civil damages for any acts of omissions during the provision of emergency care. The statute specifically indicates that “for purposes of this section, a person rendering emergency care or assistance includes a person involved in a workplace rescue arising out of an emergency or accident.” This Good Samaritan Act provides protection to a rescuer, even an untrained rescuer, who uses an AED on a cardiac arrest victim. top
Iowa State University employees who have within the scope of their employment the responsibility to respond to emergencies are provided protection from personal liability under the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Iowa Code Chapter 669. If the employee does not have the responsibility to respond to emergencies in their job description and they do respond, they are protected from liability by the Iowa Good Samaritan Law, Iowa Code Section 613.17 referenced above. This law specifically states that a person rendering emergency aid in the workplace is covered.
AED owners or potential owners must:
- Submit an AED Request Form for department funded purchases to the AED program coordinator for approval prior to purchasing a unit. See Resources below for AED procedures and submission instructions.
- Units should make a reasonable effort to train sufficient staff in order to have at least one trained staff person on site during normal business hours.
- Perform inspections of AEDs not accessible to the public (e.g., police vehicles) at least monthly to ensure proper operation.
- Notify the AED program coordinator within 24 hours of an incident. top
Environmental Health and Safety
A representative from Environmental Health and Safety will serve as the ISU AED program coordinator. Environmental Health and Safety shall be responsible for maintaining devices to meet regulatory compliance, the standards of the manufacturer, programmatic standards of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, and this ISU policy. Environmental Health and Safety will:
- Assist AED owners with program management.
- Review AED Request Forms submitted by departments or units and notify Procurement Services of approved purchases.
- Coordinate AED equipment location with AED owner and building supervisor to promote easy access.
- Perform inspections and maintenance are conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with written user and service manuals provided by the manufacturer.
- Conduct monthly inspections of AEDs in public areas to ensure proper operation.
- Conduct semi-annual inspections to include cabinet battery replacement and operational checks, replacement of pads and batteries, and ensure proper operation of AED units.
- Maintain AED inspection records.
- Purchase and replace batteries, pads and other supplies as needed.
- Maintain and provide an inventory of AED locations on campus (EH&S may delegate responsibility for maintenance where it is impractical for EH&S to perform and the department agrees.).
- Monitor updates to legislation and regulations.
- Act as liaison between AED owners, manufacturers and health agencies to assist in unit maintenance and compliance issues.
- Conduct incident debriefing and complete follow-up report. top
The director of the ISU Occupational Medicine program will serve as the medical director for the AED program and will:
- Provide medical direction and expertise on proper AED use.
- Review and approve guidelines for emergency procedures related to AED use.
- Assess post-event incident forms.
Prior to the purchase of any AED equipment, Procurement Services must receive notification from Environmental Health and Safety that a department or unit has an approved AED Request Form. The university has designated specific defibrillator equipment that can be installed on campus. As a result, acquisition of all AED equipment must be made through Procurement Services. Individual purchases of consumable materials related to AED maintenance by EH&S are exempt from the requirement to report to Procurement Services so long are they are purchased in a manner approved by Procurement Services. top
Anyone may, at their discretion, provide voluntary assistance to victims of medical emergencies to the extent appropriate to their training and experience.
AED Policy Committee
The AED Policy Committee shall consist of the AED program coordinator, director of Occupational Medicine, and representatives from Athletics, Office of Risk Management, Public Safety, Procurement Services, Residence, and at least one additional AED owner. The AED program coordinator will serve as chair of the committee and determine frequency of meetings. The Committee is responsible for:
- Monitoring the implementation of this policy.
- Advising the university on the needs and strategic campus locations that would most benefit from the installation of an AED, in the event that such resources become available.
- Reviewing all special circumstances. All requests for variations from the AED policy and procedures must be submitted to the AED program coordinator for review and approval by the committee.
- Approving policy changes. top
The following records must be maintained by EH&S and made available upon request::
- Guidelines for use.
- Manufacturer’s instructions.
- Records of maintenance and inspections for the usable life of the device.
- Training records, including a description of the training program.
- AED Incident Reports.
Iowa State University recommends that all staff identified for AED training successfully complete an American Heart Association CPR/AED course or a national acceptable equivalent and complete refresher training as needed. EH&S will make accredited training available for purchase through an approved vendor. top
Incident Notification and Documentation
Departments or units must notify AED program coordinator within 24 hours of an incident. The AED program coordinator will conduct an incident debriefing and complete an AED Incident Report. Call (515) 294-5359 or email email@example.com.
Medical Response Documentation
The AED program coordinator will provide the medical director with a copy of the AED Incident Report along with any other requested information or data.
Office of Risk Management
The Office of Risk Management is responsible for administering all claims involving Iowa State University. Claims must be reported to the Office of Risk Management. top
Regulations and Legislation
- Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2000. U.S. Public Law 106-505 (11-13-2000). This law encourages the placement of AEDs in federal buildings (42 U.S.C. 238p) and provides nationwide Good Samaritan protection (42 U.S.C. 238q) that exempts from liability anyone who renders emergency treatment with a defibrillator to save someone’s life.
- Community Access to Emergency Devices Act. (Community AED Act) U.S. Public Law 107-188 (6-12-2002). This act authorizes federal grant funds for the purchase and placement of AEDs in public places, training First Responders on AEDs and encouraging private companies to purchase and train employees on use of AEDs (42 U.S.C. 244 and 245).
- Federal Food and Drug Administration Regulations. A good summary of these regulations is contained in the URMIA White Paper available from the Office of Risk Management. The most important requirement is that any AED program must have medical oversight by a physician familiar with sudden cardiac arrest and the operation of AEDs.
- Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities. 41 CFR 102-79.115 (November 8, 2005) This publication provides a general framework for initiating a design process for an AED program in federal facilities and discusses the essential elements of such a program.
- Iowa Administrative Code – Automated External Defibrillator Maintenance (641 IAC 143). Establishes State of Iowa rules for AED Maintenance.
- Iowa Good Samaritan Act. Iowa Code §613.17. This act provides that a person who is in good faith renders emergency care and assistance, without compensation, shall not be responsible for civil damages for any acts of omissions during the provision of emergency care. The statute specifically indicates that “for purposes of this section, a person rendering emergency care or assistance includes a person involved in a workplace rescue arising out of an emergency or accident.” This Good Samaritan Act provides protection to a rescuer, even an untrained rescuer, who uses an AED on a cardiac arrest victim top