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Arkansas

Arkansas mandates that all AED programs include maintenance, training, reporting on AED placement, and activation of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Participants in these programs may be eligible for Good Samaritan immunity, which is not contingent upon meeting specific administrative or operational criteria. Furthermore, the state obligates the installation of AEDs in health clubs, select educational institutions, and criminal detention centers.

Arkansas Law Key Takeaways

Requirement

Summary

Good Samaritan Law
The Good Samaritan Law provides immunity from civil lawsuits to individuals who, with good intentions, assist someone who is or seems to be experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Maintenance Program
AEDs should be maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications.
CPR/AED Training
Persons or entities that acquire an AED must ensure that users complete AED training.
Schools
The law mandates the presence of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, alongside compulsory AED training. Additionally, students in grades 9-12 are required to receive CPR training. AEDs should also be strategically located across public university and community college campuses. A recent amendment further stipulates that AEDs must be accessible at school-sponsored sports events for students in grades 7-12.
Criminal Detention Centers
AEDs are required in criminal detention centers.
Report After Use
Following the deployment of an AED, a report must be promptly filed with the Department of Health Services' Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Systems, specifically within a five-day window.

Arkansas Statutes and Regulations

The General Assembly finds that early defibrillation can sustain the life of and temporarily stabilize a person in cardiac arrest, thus helping to preserve the Arkansas family. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the public have access to automated external defibrillators for the purpose of saving the lives of persons in cardiac arrest.

As used in this subchapter:

(1) “Automated external defibrillator” means a device that:

(A) Is used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart;

(B) Has built-in computers within the device to assess the patient’s heart rhythm, judge whether defibrillation is needed, and then administer the shock;

(C) Has audible or visual prompts, or both, to guide the user through the process;

(D) Has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration of its premarket modification, filed pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 360(k);

(E) Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation and rapid ventricular tachycardia and is capable of determining without intervention by an operator whether defibrillation should be performed; and

(F) Upon determining that defibrillation should be performed, either automatically charges and delivers an electrical impulse to an individual’s heart or charges and delivers an electrical impulse at the command of the operator;

(2) “Cardiac arrest” means a condition, often sudden, that is due to abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. It is generally the result of some underlying form of heart disease;

(3) “Cardiopulmonary resuscitation” means a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions and external cardiac massage used to sustain a person’s life until advanced assistance arrives;

(4) “Defibrillation” means administering an electrical impulse to an individual’s heart in order to stop ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia;

(5) “Emergency medical services” means the transportation and medical care provided the ill or injured prior to arrival at a medical facility by a certified emergency medical technician or other health care provider and continuation of the initial emergency care within a medical facility subject to the approval of the medical staff and governing board of that facility;

(6) “Person” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, or any organized group of persons whether incorporated or not; and

(7) “Ventricular fibrillation” means the most common arrhythmia that causes cardiac arrest. It is a condition in which the heart’s electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic, of ten without warning, causing the heart’s pumping action to stop abruptly.

(a) In order to ensure the public health and safety, a person or entity that acquires an automated external defibrillator shall ensure that:

(1) Expected automated external defibrillator users complete appropriate knowledge and skills courses at least one (1) time every two (2) years in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator use based upon current American Heart Association scientific guidelines, standards, and recommendations for providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators as published in American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent course materials;

(2) The defibrillator is maintained and tested according to the manufacturer’s operational guidelines and instructions; and

(3) Any person who renders emergency care or treatment on a person in cardiac arrest by using an automated external defibrillator activates the emergency medical services system as soon as possible and immediately reports any clinical use of the automated external defibrillator to the medical provider responding to the emergency.

(b) Any person or entity that acquires an automated external defibrillator shall notify an agent of emergency communications, 911, or vehicle dispatch center of the existence, location, and type of automated external defibrillator.

(a) Any person or entity that in good faith and without compensation renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an automated external defibrillator is immune from civil liability for any personal injury as a result of the care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment if the person acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

(b) The immunity from civil liability for any personal injury under subsection (a) of this section includes:

(1) A physician or medical facility that is involved with automated external defibrillator placement;

(2) Any person or entity that provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator training to the person or entity acquiring an automated external defibrillator; and

(3) The person or entity responsible for the location where the automated external defibrillator is located or used.

(c) The immunity from civil liability under subsection (a) of this section does not apply if the personal injury results from the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the person rendering the emergency care.

(d) The requirements of § 20-13-1304 do not apply to any individual using an automated external defibrillator in an emergency setting if that individual is acting as a “Good Samaritan” under the provisions of either § 17-95-101 or § 17-95-106.

(a) As used in this section, “health spa” means any person, firm, corporation, organization, club, or association engaged in the sale of:

(1) Memberships in a program of physical exercise that includes the use of one (1) or more sauna, whirlpool, weightlifting room, massage, steam room, or exercising machine or device; or

(2) The right or privilege to use exercise equipment or facilities such as a sauna, whirlpool, weightlifting room, massage, steam room, or exercising machine or device, including, but not limited to:

(A) For-profit businesses, firms, corporations, organizations, clubs, or associations;

(B) Bona fide nonprofit organizations, including, but not limited to, the Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, or similar organizations whose functions as health spas are only incidental to the overall functions and purposes;

(C) Any organization primarily operated for the purpose of teaching a particular form of martial arts such as judo or karate;

(D) Any college or university fitness center;

(E) Any country club; or

(F) Weight-loss or weight-control services which do not provide physical exercise facilities and which do not obligate the customer for more than twenty-five (25) months.

(b)(1) Each health spa shall have at least one (1) automated external defibrillator on the premises.

(2) The defibrillator shall at all times be placed in the location that best provides accessibility to staff, members, and guests.

(3) At all times during staffed business hours, the spa shall ensure that at least one (1) employee who has completed a knowledge and skills course in operating an automated external defibrillator and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation is assigned to be on duty.

(4) An unstaffed health spa shall have on the premises:

(A) A telephone for 911 telephone call access;

(B) An advisory warning that indicates that members of the unstaffed health spa should be aware that working out alone may pose risks to the health spa member’s health and safety; and

(C) In plain view

(i) A sign indicating the location of the automated external defibrillator; and

(ii) A sign providing instruction in the use of the automated external defibrillator and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

(c) No cause of action against a health spa or its employees may arise in connection with the use or nonuse of an automated external defibrillator unless the health spa has:

(1) Failed to purchase an automated external defibrillator as required under this section; or

(2) Acted with gross negligence in the use of an automated external defibrillator.

(d) If a health spa does not comply with this section, any contract for health spa services shall be voidable at the option of the buyer.

(a)(1) The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules to require that:

(A) Each school campus has an automated external defibrillator; and

(B) Appropriate school personnel be adequately trained on an ongoing basis.

(2) To enhance the potential life-saving capability of each automated external defibrillator, the rules shall include without limitation provisions regarding the availability of the school’s automated external defibrillator at school-related activities, such as athletic events.

(b) To minimize the financial impact on school districts, each school district may apply for a grant from the Department of Health to purchase an automated external defibrillator or related equipment or to provide training to its personnel, or any combination of purchase of an automated external defibrillator or related equipment or provision of training to personnel.

(c) The Commissioner of Education shall provide a report to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor and the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor on or before July 1 each year regarding the implementation of this section and the status of automated external defibrillator availability on each school campus.

(a) The State Board of Education, after consultation with the Department of Health, shall develop rules based on guidelines for automated external defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training that incorporates at least the following:

(1) Health care provider oversight, including planning and review of the selection, placement, and maintenance of automated external defibrillators.

(2) Appropriate training of anticipated rescuers in the use of the automated external defibrillator and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation;

(3) Testing of psychomotor skills based on the American Heart Association scientific guidelines, standards, and recommendations for the use of the automated external defibrillator, as they existed on January 1, 2021, and for providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation as published by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross as they existed on January 1, 2021, or equivalent course materials;

(4) Coordination with the emergency medical services system; and

(5) An ongoing quality improvement program to monitor training and evaluate response with each use of the automated external defibrillator.

(b) Automated external defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training shall count fully toward the existing professional development requirements for teachers and school personnel.

(a) Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, a public-school student in grades nine through twelve (9-12) shall be trained in quality psychomotor skill bases in cardiopulmonary resuscitation before the student graduates from high school.

(b) The course shall not be a certification process but shall follow the standards established by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or another nationally recognized organization that uses current, evidence-based emergency cardiac care guidelines and incorporates psychomotor skill development in the instruction and the use of automated external defibrillators.

2.01 The purpose of this rule is to require schools to have Automated External Defibrillators if funds are available as required by 5.01.

3.01 “Automated External Defibrillator” — A device that is used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart; has built in computers within the device to assess the patient’s heart rhythm, judge whether defibrillation is needed, and then administer the shock; has audible or visual prompts, or both, to guide the user through the process; has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration of its premarket modification, filed pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 360(k); is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation and rapid ventricular tachycardia and is capable of determining without intervention by an operator whether defibrillation should be performed; and upon determining that defibrillation should be performed, either automatically charges and delivers an electrical impulse to an individual’s heart or charges and delivers an electrical impulse at the command of the operator.

3.02 “Cardiac arrest” means a condition, often sudden, that is due to abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. It is generally the result of some underlying heart disease.

3.03 “CPR” means a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions and external cardiac massage used to sustain a person’s life until advanced assistance arrives.

3.04 “Defibrillation” means administering an electrical impulse to an individual’s heart in order to stop ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia.

3.05 “Ventricular fibrillation” means the most common arrhythmia that causes cardiac arrest. It is a condition in which the heart’s electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic; often without warning, causing the heart’s pumping action to stop abruptly.

4.01 Schools are required to have an automated external defibrillator if funds are available as required by 5.01

4.02 Schools that acquire an automated external defibrillator must ensure that expected automated external defibrillator users complete appropriate knowledge and skills courses at least once every two (2) years in CPR and automated external defibrillator use based upon current American Heart Association scientific guidelines, standards, and recommendations for providing CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators as published in American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent course materials.

4.03 Schools that acquire an automated external defibrillator must ensure that the defibrillator is maintained and tested according to the manufacturer’s operational guidelines and instructions.

4.04 Any person who renders emergency care or treatment on a person in cardiac arrest by using an automated external defibrillator activates the emergency medical services system as soon as possible and immediately reports any clinical use of the automated external defibrillator to the medical provider responding to the emergency.

4.05 Schools that acquire an automated external defibrillator must notify an agent of emergency communications, 911, or vehicle dispatch center of the existence, location, and type of automated external defibrillator.

4.06 Pursuant to Ark Code Ann. § 20-13-1305(a), any person who in good faith and without compensation renders emergency care or treatment using an automated external defibrillator is immune from civil liability for any personal injury as a result of the care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment, if the person acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

5.01 Districts are required to comply with these Rules to the extent that appropriations have been made by the General Assembly to cover the expenditures required by the districts to purchase automated external defibrillators.

1.0 PURPOSE

The purpose of these Rules is to establish the requirements and procedures for Governing school-based Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) programs in Arkansas Public Schools.

2.0 REGULATORY AUTHORITY

These Rules are promulgated pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. §§6-11-105, 6-10-122, and 610-123.

3.0 DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of these Rules, the following terms mean:

3.01 Arkansas Public Schools: includes all public and charter schools;

3.02 AED: Automated External Defibrillator means a device that:

3.02.1 Is used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart;

3.02.2 Has built-in computers within the device to assess the patient’s heart rhythm and judge whether defibrillation is needed;

3.02.3 Has audible or visual prompts, or both, to guide the user through the process;

3.02.4 Has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration of its pre-market modification, filed pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 360(k);

3.02.5 Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation and rapid ventricular tachycardia and is capable of determining without intervention by an operator whether defibrillation should be performed; and

3.02.6 Upon determining if the defibrillation should be performed, the AED either automatically charges and delivers an electrical impulse to an individual’s heart or charges and delivers an electrical impulse at the command of the operator.

3.03 CPR/AED Provider: A member or employee of a campus who has completed training in CPR in addition to knowledge and understanding of an AED’s operation and use under the requirements set forth in this regulation.

3.04 Cardiac arrest: A condition, often sudden, that is due to abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. It is generally the result of some underlying form of heart disease.

3.05 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): A combination of rescue breathing, chest compressions, and external cardiac massage used to sustain a person’s life until advanced assistance arrives.

3.07 Defibrillation: Administering the electrical impulse to an individual’s heart in order to stop ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia.

3.08 Department: Arkansas Department of Education

3.09 Emergency Medical Services (EMS): The transportation and medical care provided the ill or injured prior to arrival at a medical facility by a licensed emergency medical technician or other health care provider and continuation of the initial emergency care within a medical facility subject to the approval of the medical staff and governing board of that facility.

3.10 Extra-curricular event: Any school sponsored program or voluntary activity sponsored by the school, local education agency, or an organization sanctioned by the local education agency where students are competing for the purpose of receiving an award, rating, recognition, or criticism, or qualification for additional competition or including preparation for and involvement in public performances, contests, athletic competitions, demonstrations, displays and club activities.

3.11 FDA: Federal Food and Drug Administration

3.12 School-Personnel: School Board approved/contract employee of the district that is required to follow school policy and procedures.

3.13 Program Coordinator: An individual, appointed by the school district, who is responsible for administration of the Automated External Defibrillation program for their respective campus.

3.14 Protocol: Currently approved and accepted procedures describing specific steps a provider must follow in assessing and treating a patient.

3.15 Renewal: Period training and demonstration of competence in the application and use of automated defibrillation equipment.

3.17 School campus: Any public school building or cluster of buildings, including grounds, with an ADE-issued LEA number, that is used for any purpose, including, without limitation: an extracurricular activity, organized physical activity course defined in Ark. Code Ann. §6-16-137, pre-kindergarten education, or district administration.

3.18 School sponsored event; Any event or activity sponsored by the school or school system which includes but is not limited to athletic events, booster clubs, parent teacher organizations, or any activity designed to enhance the school curriculum whether on school-campus or not.

3.19 Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA): SCA is a sudden or unexpected cessation of heart function, most often caused by a sudden arrhythmia, such as ventricular fibrillation (VF). When this occurs, the heart’s electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic and ineffective. Blood flow to the brain abruptly stops and the victim collapses and quickly loses consciousness. Death usually follows unless a normal heart rhythm is restored within minutes.

3.20 Ventricular Fibrillation (VF): The most common arrhythmia that causes cardiac arrest. It is a condition in which the heart’s electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic, often without warning, causing the heart’s pumping action to stop abruptly.

4.0 REQUIREMENTS

Each school campus must have an Automated External Defibrillator, and appropriate school personnel must be adequately trained on an ongoing basis as outlined in Section 9.0 of these Rules

5.0 AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR MODEL

5.01 Defibrillators acceptable for use in Arkansas public schools are:

5.01.1 Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved;

5.01.2 Automated type requiring provider intervention to initiate a defibrillation shock; and

5.01.3 Capable of automatically collecting data.

5.02 No modifications will be made to defibrillation equipment, by the provider or the service, which results in:

5.02.1 Deviation from the original manufacturer’s specifications, or

5.02.2 Deviation from AED protocols which are: Early access- calling 911; Early CPR – starting CPR immediately; Early Defibrillation – utilizing the onsite AED within 3-5 minutes of onset; and Early Advanced Care – trained health care providers arriving to provide advanced care.

6.0 DEFIBRILLATOR PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE/REPAIR

6.01 Each school district shall designate appropriate personnel to be responsible for the maintenance of the AED(s).

6.02 All components of the AED and integrated data recording system shall be inspected by a qualified service technician at least one (1) time per calendar year or as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure:

6.02.1 The equipment meets original manufacturer’s specifications;

6.02.2 The equipment maintains the currently approved treatment protocols based on the current American Heart Association scientific guidelines, standards, and recommendations for the use of the AED.

6.03.2 The battery of the AED shall be maintained and replaced in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.

6.03.3 All maintenance and repairs shall be performed by a qualified service technician recognized by the manufacturer.

6.03.4 Written records shall be maintained for all maintenance, repairs, and inspections performed on all components for mandated annual state reporting purposes.

7.0 AVAILABILITY OF AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR

7.01 Each school shall designate appropriate personnel to be responsible for ensuring the availability of the AED.

7.02 The location of AEDs shall be based on the following:

7.02.1 Size and physical layout of the buildings;

7.02.2 Number and ages of individuals in the building;

7.02.3 Types and locations of curricular, extracurricular, and school-sponsored events;

7.02.4 Design features that might be unique to the building; and

7.02.5 Each school shall report, in a format approved by the Department, maintenance records and any use of an AED.

7.03 During school hours, the AED will be placed at designated locations.

7.03.1 These locations shall be specific to each school but should allow the device to be easily seen and accessed by staff.

7.03.2 The locations should allow staff members to retrieve the device outside of normal school hours.

7.04 AEDs shall not be located or stored in a locked office or room.

8.0 SCHOOL APPOINTED PROGRAM COORDINATOR

8.01 The school appointed program coordinator shall:

8.01.1 Maintain current provider status in CPR/AED;

8.01.2 Assure that the CPR/AED providers on campus receive appropriate training in the use and maintenance of the school’s AED(s);

8.01.3 Oversee training operations for the school and maintain organizational training reports;

8.01.4 Ensure AED equipment is maintained according to manufacturer and treatment protocol specifications based on the current American Heart Association scientific guidelines, standards, and recommendations for the use of the AED;

8.01.4.1 This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that AED pads and batteries have not expired;

8.01.5 Provide professional development opportunities annually for AED providers and all school employees, if applicable;

8.01.6 Verify credentials of personnel functioning as an AED provider within the school; and

8.01.7 Review each use of the AED.

8.02 If the Program Coordinator is not a healthcare provider, a healthcare provider must oversee these activities.

9.0 QUALITY TRAINING

9.01 Appropriate training of anticipated rescuers in the use of the AED and in CPR will incorporate at least the following:

9.01.1 Testing of psychomotor skills based on the American Heart Association scientific guidelines, standards, and recommendations for the use of the AED, as they existed on January 1, 2021; and

9.01.2 Providing CPR as published by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, or equivalent course materials, as they existed on January 1, 2021;

9.01.3 Coordination with the emergency medical services system; and

9.01.4 An ongoing quality improvement program to monitor training and evaluate response with each use of an AED.

10.0 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS

10.01 Automated external defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training shall count fully toward the existing professional development requirements for teachers and school personnel as noted in the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Professional Development.

11.0 REPORTING

11.01 The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education shall provide a report to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor and the House committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor on or before July 1 of each year.

11.02 Schools shall annually report to the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education the implementation of these Rules and status of AED availability on each school campus by May 1.

11.03 An AED Incident Report Form shall be completed and submitted to the School Health Services Director within thirty (30) days following an event. This form shall include relevant information regarding the incidence and use of the AED and the client outcome.

SECTION 9-1009 EMERGENCY AND LIFE SAVING TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED [applicable to criminal detention facilities]

A first aid kit and an automatic external defibrillator (AED) shall be available in a secure, but easily accessible, location within the Detention Facility. A medical training program or suitable alternative shall be established for Detention Facility personnel, such as first aid, CPR or any other available programs that will aid in the recognition of signs and symptoms of and knowledge of action required in potential emergency situations. All personnel shall maintain certification for life saving techniques and devices.

*Codes and regulations cited from Justia US Law.

**Codes and regulations cited from FindLaw.

***Codes and regulations cited from CaseText.

Note: This page serves as an educational resource on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and related legal frameworks. AEDleader.com provides this content for general knowledge purposes and does not claim it to be exhaustive or infallible regarding interpretations of AED laws. It should not be considered legal counsel. We invite you to contact us for detailed guidance on complying with AED regulations specific to your location.

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