AED requirements in the state of Illinois are laid out in 410 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 4, known as the Automated External Defibrillator Act. The Automated External Defibrillator Act describes:
- Who is exempt from civil liability when using an automated external defibrillator
- Who needs to complete training in the use of an AED
- Maintenance and testing requirements for AEDs
- Facilities that are required to have automated external defibrillators on site
If you own or manage a facility, you need to be familiar with the AED requirements in Illinois to ensure that you maintain compliance and that your personnel are ready to save a life. If you have additional facilities located across the country, AED program management can help you to remain in compliance with the regulations in Illinois as well as the AED regulations in other states where your company or organization operates.
Good Samaritan Laws That Cover Automated External Defibrillators in Illinois
Illinois Compiled Statutes 410 ILCS 4/30 provides an exemption from civil liability for any act or omission involving an AED in an emergency situation. The following individuals and entities are exempt from civil liability:
- Physicians who authorize the purchase of an automated external defibrillator
- Individuals and entities that provide training in the use of an AED
- The owners and managers of premises where an AED is located—including a “unit of State or local government, sheriff’s office, municipal police department, or school district”
- AED users who “use an automated external defibrillator in an emergency situation”
These individuals and entities are not liable for civil damages as a result of any act or omission when the AED is used in an emergency situation. However, the protection does not apply if the individual engages in willful and wanton misconduct or if the requirements of the Act are not met.
Training Requirements for Use of an AED
The 77 Ill. Adm. Code 525.600 states that AED acquirers should take reasonable measures to ensure that anticipated AED users complete an approved course of instruction in their use. An individual who has completed a course of instruction is referred to as a trained AED user. In Illinois, learning how to use an AED and properly administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a compulsory part of the secondary school curriculum and is required for graduation from high school.
In 77 Ill. Adm. Code 525.300, the Illinois Department of Public Health recognizes training for AED users that includes “complete training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prepared according to nationally recognized guidelines.” Similar to the AED training requirements in other states, this training can be provided by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or another nationally recognized certifying organization.
Any acquirer of an AED in the State of Illinois “shall notify an agent of the local emergency communications or vehicle dispatch center of the existence, location, and type of the automated external defibrillator” as per 77 Ill. Adm. Code 527.500. When the local EMS system knows the location of AEDs, they can arm a quicker medical emergency response.
In keeping with 77 Ill. Adm. Code 525.500, facilities must also report the use of AEDs “in accordance with requirements for data collection and a submission pursuant to 77 Ill. Adm. Code 515.350 (Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Center Code − Data Collection and Submission).” The Department itself must also maintain incident reports and conduct annual analyses of data, as described in IL Comp Stat § 410 ILCS 4/25.
Who Must Carry an AED
Many of the AED requirements in Illinois came about after the tragic death of Colleen O’Sullivan—a young lawyer who passed away in the hospital approximately two weeks after suffering a cardiac arrest in a health club.
After her death, Colleen’s family and friends came together to work on legislation that eventually became The Physical Fitness Facility Medical Emergency Preparedness Act. This act became a model for similar legislation in other states around America.
Thanks to the pioneering work of Colleen’s family and friends, several types of facilities in Illinois are now required to carry an AED:
- Intensive exercise facilities
- Physical fitness facilities
- Licensed horse racing facilities
- Law Enforcement Facilities
- Police departments
- Sheriff’s offices
- Dental offices where sedation is used
Intensive Exercise Facilities
Physical Fitness Facilities
The Physical Fitness Facility Medical Emergency Preparedness Act (77 Ill. Adm. Code 527.1000) states that physical fitness facilities must have:
- A proper medical emergency plan
- The requite number of automated external defibrillators on the premises
- The requisite number of trained AED users
The importance of these requirements is reiterated in Section 527.1000 Violations, which states that physical fitness facilities must “avoid lapses in compliance with this Code.”
Horse Racing Facilities
According to IL Comp Stat § 230 ILCS 5/31.2, licensed horse racing facilities in Illinois must have at least two AEDs on the premises that are accessible and operational, including at least one AED in the paddock and at least one AED in the backstretch. Furthermore, qualified charitable organizations should provide annual training on the use of AEDs to horsemen and racetrack personnel in English and Spanish, as per House Bill 2506.
Recommended AED for Fitness and Horse Racing Facilities: HeartSine 350P
The HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P has many features that make it ideal for use in physical fitness facilities and licensed horse racing facilities:
- Resistant to drops and shocks. The HeartSine 350P has the highest durability rating on the market with the IP56 Dust & Water Rating and military drop and shock testing. This is helpful as the unit may be dropped as someone rushes across a gym, paddock, or field.
- Tolerates both heat and cold. The HeartSine 350P can be stored at temperatures between 50 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit (0 and 50 degrees Celsius), making it ideal for storing in an outdoor cabinet in outdoor facilities like racing tracks.
- Simple, two-button operation. When someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, every minute counts. This model has one button to turn the device on and one button to deliver a shock, making it easy for anyone to use.
Police departments and sheriff’s offices are places that are easily accessible to the public in the event of a nearby sudden cardiac arrest. IL Comp Stat § 65 ILCS 5/11-1-13 states that a police department with 100 or more police officers must have an “operational and accessible automated external defibrillator” and an adequate number of trained AED users.
IL Comp Stat § 55 ILCS 5/3-6040 requires that the sheriff’s office of each county must have at least one AED that is “operational and accessible” and that an adequate number of staff members be trained to administer it.
Recommended AED for Police Departments and Sheriff Offices: Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2
The Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 is an excellent AED for police departments and sheriff’s offices because of its durability, ease of use, and accessibility features:
- Child-mode. The LIFEPAK CR2 has a child-mode button that automatically attenuates the shock delivered without the need for pediatric pads.
- Bilingual capabilities. The LIFEPAK CR2 can be programmed with English and Spanish instructions for areas with a large Spanish-speaking population.
- ClearVoice™ technology. The volume of voice coaching on the LIFEPAK CR2 automatically adjusts so that the instructions can be heard over the noise of a busy police department or frantic emergency scene.
Dental Offices That Administer Anesthesia
Sedation and anesthesia come with an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest. While this risk may be small, dental offices are required to have a written emergency response plan. Those facilities that administer anesthesia must have at least one AED on the premises at all times, according to IL Comp Stat § 225 ILCS 25/44.5, 68.1220.510, and 68.1220.520.
Recommended AED for Dental Offices: Philips HeartStart FRx
The Philips HeartStart FRx is an excellent automated external defibrillator for dealing with cases of sudden cardiac arrest in dental offices:
- Child/infant key. The child-infant key (sold separately) can be used to attenuate the shock delivered without the need for an additional set of pads.
- Optional CPR coaching. This unique feature is ideal for healthcare professionals who would prefer to perform cardiovascular resuscitation with the audio instructions turned off.
- Visual icons. The Philips HeartStart FRx provides visual guidance on-screen so that you can follow the instructions in noisy environments.
Maintenance Requirements for AEDs
While there is no exact schedule for AED service requirements in Illinois, 77 Ill. Adm. Code 527.700 states that all physical fitness facilities in the state must:
- Ensure that their AEDs are “maintained and tested according to the manufacturer’s guidelines”
- “Retain a copy of the maintenance and testing manual at the physical fitness facility”
- “Keep a copy of the manual with the AED”
For most AED models, the manufacturer’s guidelines include monthly checks that the status light is green, that the battery and electrode pads have not expired, and that the unit has not been physically damaged.
Make Sure You Comply With the AED Requirements in Illinois
The General Assembly of Illinois recognizes that timely attention in medical emergencies saves lives, and the AED requirements in Illinois, as set out in the Automated External Defibrillator Act, are designed to encourage the use of automated external defibrillators. Our AED program management solution helps to ensure that you’re always in compliance and ready to respond to a cardiac emergency.
Whether or not your facility is required by law to have an AED on site, it’s in the best interests of your staff members and the people who use your facility to have an operational device and at least one trained AED user who knows how to properly administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Deaths from sudden cardiac arrest—like that of Colleen O’Sullivan—are a tragedy. But prompt use of an automated external defibrillator can prevent many such deaths each year. If you work or manage a facility in Illinois, be prepared to respond to a medical emergency by having at least one AED and an adequate number of trained AED users on site. Someone’s life may depend on it.