CincinnatióMichael Sayre, MD, assistant professor of emergency
medicine at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine, and
medical director of the Cincinnati Fire Division, is pleased with the
passage of Ohio House Bill # 717 to provide civil and criminal immunity
for anyone using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to
resuscitate a person in an emergency situation. The "good Samaritan"
law permits anyone to use an AED to help a person in cardiac arrest.
says the device interprets the heartís rhythm; and if needed, it
delivers an electrical shock to the heart. The heart can then resume
pumping the blood effectively. Emergency medical technicians,
physicians, and registered or licensed practical nurses who have
obtained appropriate training on how to perform automated external
defibrillation and successfully completed a course in cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) have already been using the device to save lives.
"Now, anyone who has access to an AED can use it to save lives," says
Sayre. "This law protects good Samaritans from the fear of litigation
while encouraging them to become better trained in using AED and
cardiopulmonary resuscitation," he says.
Sayre strongly supported
the passage of the new Ohio law. He also influenced the Cincinnati
community to begin supplying Cincinnati police and fire units with the
lifesaving device and AED training since 1996. "Heart disease is still
the number one killer of Americans, but more widespread use of the
automated external defibrillators will increase the chance of surviving
sudden cardiac arrest," says Sayre. The new Ohio law went into effect
on December 21, 1998.