Texas maintains a number of AED requirements for businesses, public facilities, and certain public safety professionals. The goal is to ensure that life-saving defibrillation equipment is always available and emergency-ready in the places where it’s needed most.
Are AEDs Required in Texas?
While Texas AED laws aren’t as stringent as the laws in California or New York, Texas does require AEDs to be present in some of the facilities most vulnerable to sudden cardiac arrest. And not just any defibrillator will suffice. Most defibrillators are designed for clinical use and are not suitable for the lay user. An automated external defibrillator (AED), on the other hand, is designed to be used safely by almost anyone in an emergency.
Texas Health and Safety Code, § 779.001 defines an AED as a defibrillator that:
- Has received premarket approval from the FDA
- Can identify the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia and thereby determine whether an electric shock is viable and safe
- Can deliver the necessary electric shock automatically or by user prompt
Examples include Philips AEDs, ZOLL AEDs, and HeartSine AEDs, all of which are FDA-approved and certified for use by professional and lay users.
What Businesses Require an AED in Texas?
In Texas, the following facilities must maintain at least one automated external defibrillator:
- Schools. Every school campus must have an emergency-ready AED. The device must be present at all large student gatherings, and an employee trained in AED/CPR must be present as well. Coaches, trainers, and athletic volunteers must maintain AED/CPR certification. In addition, students are required to receive CPR training at least once between grades 7 and 12. School districts are required to develop safety procedures for emergency response and must provide training to applicable staff annually.
- Dental offices. Every dental office must have an emergency-ready AED. An employee trained in AED/CPR must also be present at all times during business hours.
- Nursing homes. Nursing homes, convalescent facilities, and pediatric extended care facilities have the same requirements as dental offices: at least one AED on site, and at least one CPR/AED-trained employee on site at all times. For nursing facilities with multiple floors, a separate AED must be available on each floor.
Texas doesn’t require AEDs in churches, gyms, and other general places of public assembly, but it’s still highly recommended that a defibrillator be made available in any location where large numbers of people gather.
Texas AED Program Management Requirements
Texas, like many states, requires AED program management for all defibrillator owners and operators. There are five key aspects to program management, all of which are required in the Lone Star State:
- Physician oversight. A licensed physician must help to oversee the user’s AED training program, placement, and compliance.
- CPR/AED training. Every intended user of the device must undergo CPR and AED training with a program approved by the American Heart Association or the Red Cross.
- Regular AED maintenance checks. AED operators must maintain and test the device regularly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. AEDs are designed to run automatic daily, weekly, and monthly self-checks, but it’s up to the owner to conduct manual tests and ensure constant readiness. Pads and batteries must be replaced before their expiration dates.
- EMS registration. The owner or operator of the device is required to notify the local emergency medical services provider of the existence, location, and model of AED.
- Notification of use. If the AED is used in a cardiac emergency, the operator must notify the local emergency medical services provider of the event and submit any event data saved on the device.
Refer to our AED regulations map to learn more about AED requirements by state.
Our AED Program Management makes it easy to remain compliant. Sign up today, and we’ll take care of everything from the physician oversight to the training and maintenance. We’ll even send your parts replacements prior to your pads’ and battery’s expiration dates.
Texas Good Samaritan Laws
All 50 states have some form of Good Samaritan Law on the books. This law provides liability protection to bystanders who come to the aid of people in need. For example, if you witness a cardiac arrest at a local shopping mall, and you try—in good faith—to revive the person using the mall’s publicly accessible defibrillator, you won’t have to worry about being sued just because the attempt was unsuccessful or because the victim had a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order in place.
Texas’s good Samaritan law is covered under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.152:
Persons not licensed or certified in the healing arts who in good faith administer emergency care as emergency medical service personnel are not liable in civil damages for an act performed in administering the care unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent. This section applies without regard to whether the care is provided for or in expectation of remuneration.
The term “willfully or wantonly negligent” is somewhat ambiguous, but it generally refers to reckless behavior that falls outside the scope of how a reasonably intelligent person would be expected to behave in the same situation.
The good news is that automated external defibrillators are programmed with calm, clear voice instructions. So as long as you just follow along with each step and do exactly as instructed, you’re doing your due diligence.
Texas AED Laws – What You Need to Know
Maintaining compliance with Texas AED laws isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Start with a good AED program management provider, and make sure to inspect your device regularly for emergency readiness.
And even if you don’t operate a school, dental practice, or medical facility, consider the myriad benefits of an automated external defibrillator for your business, public facility, or even home. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but if you do, you’ll be grateful to have it.