General University Reference Utility
This policy provides procedures for the selection, placement, purchase and maintenance of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all University facilities and vehicles.
The use of an AED is one step in the process of improving survival rates for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Red Cross, each year in the United States over 250,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest before reaching a hospital. A person’s chance of survival can be increased by establishing a Chain of Survival system that includes early recognition (calling 911), early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), early defibrillation, and access to advanced cardiac life support by emergency medical services (EMS) and medical facilities.
42 Pa.C.S. § 8331.2 specifies Good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillators and 42 Pa.C.S. § 8332 specifies nonmedical Good Samaritan civil immunity.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates AED units as medical devices. A prescription is required to be written by a physician for purchase of an AED. Devices with FDA approval can be accessed at this website: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/default.htm .
Federal Public Health Improvement Act, Public Law 106-505 (November 13, 2000). Subtitle A of Title IV of the Act, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2000, amends the Public Health Service Act to provide for placement of AEDs in Federal buildings to improve survival rates of cardiac arrest victims, and to establish protection from civil liability from the use of the devices. American Heart Association AED Implementation Guide #70-2272 9/04.
Automated External Defibrillator: A device that is designed to analyze a heart rhythm and advise trained or "lay" personnel when to push a button on the unit to deliver a potentially lifesaving shock (defibrillation) to the victim of a sudden cardiac arrest.
CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation): an emergency medical procedure using artificial blood circulation and respiration to maintain the flow of oxygenated blood through the body, thereby delaying tissue death and increasing the opportunity for successful resuscitation without brain damage.
The purchase, placement, use and maintenance of AEDs at Penn State shall conform to the requirements established in this policy. No work unit is permitted to purchase or install an AED without approval by the process established herein.
The content of this policy is applicable to all Penn State locations except the Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine and applies to work units with AED units already in place and work units considering purchasing them.
Medical Advisor for the University AED Program – Designated Advisor for the AED program, working with Emergency Medical Services in University Health Services. The primary responsibility of this individual is to provide oversight for the medical components of this policy.
Emergency Medical Services
Environmental Health and Safety
Office of Human Resources
Department, Unit or Campus
AED Work Unit Coordinator
- AED approval letters for the initial installation and subsequent revisions.
- “Work Unit Plan to Use an AED” and subsequent revisions.
- Employee training records.
- Participation records for drills.
- Other records such as purchasing documentation, etc.
- Removal of an AED from service.
- Change in name/contact information of AED Coordinator.
- Change in model/manufacturer information.
- Change in placement location.
- Change in physician providing medical oversight.
- Change in meeting minimum training qualifications.
The appropriate procedures for a work unit to place an AED unit in a building, department or vehicle are:
Placement criteria for AEDs at Penn State is established by the AED Advisory Committee using the information listed below. Administrative work units are required to obtain an AED in accordance with this policy. In general, funding for AEDs including installation and signage by auxiliary operations will be the responsibility of the work unit, even if they meet the placement criteria. For non-auxiliary work units, AEDs will be centrally funded through EHS if they meet the placement criteria.
A designated location in OPP will be established where all AED deliveries will be received and where all shipments from University units will be coordinated.
For those work units which do not meet the established placement criteria, but choose to purchase an AED, the responsibility for meeting all other components of this policy will be the work unit’s. Work units are encouraged to contact EHS to obtain more specific information on AEDs as applicable to their operations.
The selection of manufacturer and model of AED will be based on standardization of units by campus location whenever possible. Emergency Medical Services, in consultation with EHS will specify an appropriate model for consistency, and the work unit will be responsible to purchase or have purchased that model. EMS, in consultation with EHS, will consider alternatives when appropriate.
University Park Criteria for AED Placement:
Facilities/activities determined to be of the highest risk for requiring an AED:
- Facilities/Activities which meet at least one of the following:
- Use at fitness facilities, including swimming pools.
- Use by high risk populations or personnel working at high risk activities such as energized electrical circuits, elevated heat exposure or in health care. Further examples are activities involving high risk team sports (e.g., Division III sports – softball, baseball, lacrosse; Division I sports).
- Are a high risk site (e.g., older populations) such as airports, hotels and large gathering locations.
- Facilities/Activities that meet all of the following:
- Difficult to navigate based on size, configuration or restrictions that inhibit immediate access.
- Use by large numbers of people, but not necessarily at risk populations.
- Location is more than a 3 minute response time for an AED to arrive from Police or EMS.
Facilities/Activities determined to be of moderate risk for requiring an AED:
Non-University Park Criteria for AED Placement:
Special consideration at campuses is needed to account for variations in size, layout and types of activities. Each non-University Park location has at least one AED and many campuses have more than one unit that meets the criteria established. The general criteria for placement are that an AED should be located at the nurse/health center, police operations, or at (a) central location(s). Fitness facilities must also have an AED if one is not already located nearby.
Prior to the purchase and/or placement of an AED, or as otherwise specified by this policy, the administrative unit AED Coordinator must submit a "Work Unit Plan to Use an AED" to EHS, found by accessing this webpage-http://ehs.psu.edu/automated-external-defibrillator-aed/forms-0.
Continuous equipment maintenance is an important element in ensuring a successful program. Equipment is maintained through the following processes:
Individuals approved to use AEDs shall be trained in CPR and AED usage. The training shall be based on the American Heart Association or American Red Cross and shall be taught by an authorized instructor. Courses at a minimum must include adult CPR and AED and the “student” must receive a certificate of completion.
University employees have a variety of options for training through Penn State, including Office of Human Resources.
EMS medical personnel (i.e. EMT’s, Paramedics, Nurses, Physicians, PA’s) and certified athletic trainers are exempt from the above training requirements.
Work units should contact EHS to determine the appropriate number of employees who need to be trained in order to get AED approval. In general, two to four employees should be trained for each AED requested.
Note: These items can be readily purchased as intact “kits.”
In order that EMS may evaluate the effectiveness of Penn State’s AED program, it is important that any administrative unit using an AED make a report. The administrative unit responsible for the AED should provide EMS with the following information:
If the AED has internal data storage of use, the work unit is responsible to provide the data or the data card (not the AED) to EMS immediately following use of the AED.
For University Park locations, OPP must be notified so that unit is inspected and replacement pads/other supplies can be ordered. For non-University Park locations the AED Coordinator must ensure that the unit is inspected and replacement pads/other supplies are ordered.
This policy is not intended to cover situations in which the University employs or uses personnel with specific education, certification and/or licensure to deliver emergency care. Personnel such as EMT's, EMT-Paramedics, Registered Nurses, other Health Care Professionals (including certified athletic trainers) may have an AED that they have been authorized to use by virtue of their specific training or medical protocols, and may have other reporting requirements mandated by regulations or statutes.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
Most Recent Changes:
Revision History (and effective dates):