Magazine article State Legislatures

Saving Lives at the Capitol with Defibrillators

Magazine article State Legislatures

Saving Lives at the Capitol with Defibrillators

Article excerpt

For the past two years, lawmakers have worked at passing laws to make lifesaving automated external defibrillators, which can be used to save the lives of cardiac arrest victims, easily available to the public. Now, policymakers are bringing these emergency machines home -- to the statehouse.

A recent survey of National Legislative Services and Security Association members determined that several state legislatures have purchased the defibrillators (AEDs) and trained staff to use them if someone suffers cardiac arrest within the Capitol.

Alaska, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington have installed defibrillators in central locations and have trained security personnel. The Hawaii Legislature received automatic external defibrillators from the American Heart Association of Hawaii in April.

"Every building that houses public employees should have at least one AED," says Michigan Senator John J.H. Schwarz, MD.

The defibrillators analyze heart rhythms to determine whether a shock is necessary and then deliver the shock to the heart. …

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