AEDs and Tennessee Schools Legislation
The importance of AEDs in schools
An automated external defibrillator is a device that looks for a shockable heart rhythm and delivers a shock only if needed. It is small, portable, automated and easy to operate. Voice prompts give instructions. The machine will not shock someone who does not need it. Successful resuscitation depends on treatment with CPR and an AED within three to five minutes of the victim's collapse.
AEDs are safe and easy to use and maintain. They provide a critical layer of life-saving technology to the general public. Schools are the setting for many community activities, including sporting events, which pose a great risk for a sudden cardiac arrest event. For each minute that passes as sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the chance of survival falls by 10 percent.
With an AED on-site, school responders can immediately attempt to save a life. While the primary goal of programs that promote school cardiac emergency response teams is to decrease sudden cardiac deaths among youths, these programs have also helped save adult lives.
Present Tennessee law encourages all schools to have an AED. It also requires any school having an AED to comply with general regulations. Public schools with one or more AEDs must hold annual AED and CPR training and drills for all school personnel. Schools must regularly evaluate their preparedness in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.
For more information about Tennessee state legislation requirements regarding AEDs in schools and youth athletic activities, view the downloadable documents linked below.