Community AED Act becomes part of Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act

May 22, 2002

The Community Access to Emergency Defibrillation Act (Community AED Act) passed in the House today, receiving overwhelming bipartisan support as part of a Conference Report which represents the agreement between differing House and Senate versions of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act (HR 3448). The effort was championed by Rep. Lois Capps (D, California-22), Rep. John Shimkus (R, Illinois-20), Sen. Bill Frist (R, Tennessee) and Sen.Ted Kennedy (D, Massachusetts). The signed Conference Report will next be sent to the House and Senate for a vote and then sent to the President for his signature.

Section 159 of the Report addresses access to defibrillation. It would provide $30 million in funding for Automated External Defibrillation (AED) projects in 2003 and additional funds for 2004-2006 through grants to states and political subdivisions. Funds may be used to purchase AEDs, provide AED training, provide information and materials to communities served by the programs, and further develop strategies to improve access to defibrillation. Preference will be given to areas with “particularly low local survival rates” or strong levels of commitment.

“As a nurse,” said Capps, “I know that educating people to recognize symptoms and react immediately in the face of a cardiac arrest will save lives. Providing targeted federal resources to local public health efforts is a cost-effective way to prevent tragedy. I am pleased that the House has joined our Senate colleagues to pass this important, life-saving measure.”

For the conference report, see Section 159 in:

For Capp’s press release click here:

For Shimkus’ press release click here: