Do You Know Your State’s Defibrillator Legislation?



Like many aspects of American life, AEDs and manual defibrillators are regulated on both the federal and state levels. This can make keeping track of each state’s particular legislation pertaining to AEDs in schools, training, and Good Samaritan Laws. Here at DXE Medical, we are in the process of developing a comprehensive legislative guide that will feature descriptions of individual bills as well as comparison maps of all 50 states and their pertinent legislation. This is quite the undertaking, so we decided to give you a preview with a post on the laws in DXE’s home state of Tennessee.

The state has no legislation pertaining particularly to the use of manual defibrillators like the Zoll M Series or Likepak 12. These devices are utilized only in hospitals by physicians and other healthcare professionals who have completed Advanced Cardiac Life Support training. There are several laws in Tennessee pertaining to the usage of automated external defibrillators especially their utilization in school settings.

  • HB 2970- expected users should complete AED training course (passed May 11, 1998)
  • SB 1158- requires owners of an AED to create a written plan for the device’s use (passed May 1999)
  • SB 281- requires individual or organizations to register their AED with the state within 30 days of purchase (passed July 1, 2003)
  • HB 2775- encourages local educational agencies (LEAs) to place AEDs in schools as their budget allows (passed July 1, 2008)
  • SB 2505- known as the “Tanner Lee Jameson Act” requires the first AED to be acquired by a school to be placed in the gym (passed April 23, 2010)
  • HB 1633- requires AEDs in schools to be supervised and endorsed by a physician (passed May 5, 2011)

Students in Tennessee are required to learn CPR prior to high school graduation; however, they are not required to learn how to use an AED as students in a growing number of states including Nevada and Georgia.

Tennessee does have a Good Samaritan Law which protects both medical professional and laypeople from liability when they assist someone in cardiac arrest. This is perhaps the most important AED-related law in Tennessee as many individuals worry that they could be sued for using a device they are not formally trained in. DXE Medical strongly supports AED training for all likely users of the device, but we also know it can be readily used by anyone thanks to visual and often auditory cues given by such equipment.

Make sure to stay tuned with us this summer for our nationwide legislative guide!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.