1999 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representatives Barnett (92nd), Ellington, Howell, Malone, Martinson, Compretta, Davis
House Bill 954
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE ANY PERSON TO USE AN AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR FOR THE PURPOSE OF SAVING THE LIFE OF ANOTHER PERSON IN SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH IF THEY MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ACT; TO REQUIRE PERSONS WHO USE AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS TO OBTAIN APPROPRIATE TRAINING AND TO ACTIVATE THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SYSTEM UPON USE OF THE DEFIBRILLATOR; TO AMEND SECTION 73-25-37, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY TO CERTAIN PERSONS RENDERING EMERGENCY CARE IN GOOD FAITH WITH AN AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Legislature of the State of Mississippi finds that:
(a) Each year more than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) Americans die from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. More than ninety-five percent (95%) of those persons having cardiac arrest die, in many cases because lifesaving defibrillators arrive on the scene too late, if at all;
(b) The American Heart Association estimates that more than twenty thousand (20,000) deaths could be prevented each year if defibrillators were more widely available to designated responders; and
(c) Many communities around the country have invested in 911 emergency response systems, emergency personnel, and ambulance vehicles, but many of them do not have enough defibrillators in their community.
Therefore, it is the intent of this act to encourage greater acquisition, deployment and use of automated external defibrillators in communities across the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 2. As used in this act:
(a) "AED" means an automated external defibrillator, which is a device, heart monitor and defibrillator that:
(i) Has received approval of its pre-market notification filed under 21 USCS, Section 360(k) from the United States Food and Drug Administration;
(ii) Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation, which is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes the ventricles of the heart to quiver and renders the heart unable to pump blood, or rapid ventricular tachycardia, which is a rapid heartbeat in the ventricles and is capable of determining, without intervention by an operator, whether defibrillation should be performed; and
(iii) Upon determining that defibrillation should be performed, automatically charges and advises the operator to deliver hands-free external electrical shock to patients to terminate ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia when the heart rate exceeds a preset value.
(b) "Emergency medical services (EMS) notification" means activation of the 911 emergency response system or the equivalent.
SECTION 3. Any person may use an automated external defibrillator for the purpose of saving the life of another person in sudden cardiac death, subject to the following requirements:
(a) A Mississippi licensed physician must exercise medical control authority over the person using the AED to ensure compliance with requirements for training, emergency medical services (EMS) notification and maintenance;
(b) The person using the AED must have received appropriate training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and in the use of an AED by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, National Safety Council or other nationally recognized course in CPR and AED use;
(c) The AED must not operate in a manual mode except when access control devices are in place or when appropriately licensed individuals such as registered nurses, physicians or emergency medical technician-paramedics utilize the AED; and
(d) Any person who renders emergency care or treatment on a person in sudden cardiac death by using an AED must activate the EMS system as soon as possible, and report any clinical use of the AED to the licensed physician.
SECTION 4. An individual may use an AED if all of the requirements of Section 3 of this act are met. However, nothing in this act shall limit the right of an individual to practice a health occupation that the individual is otherwise authorized to practice under the laws of Mississippi.
SECTION 5. Section 73-25-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-37. (1) No duly licensed, practicing physician, dentist, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified registered emergency medical technician, or any other person who, in good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care, renders emergency care to any injured person at the scene of an emergency, or in transporting the injured person to a point where medical assistance can be reasonably expected, shall be liable for any civil damages to the injured person as a result of any acts committed in good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care or omissions in good faith and in the exercise of reasonable care by such persons in rendering the emergency care to the injured person.
(2) (a) Any person who in good faith, with or without compensation, renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 through 4 of this act, shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury as a result of that care or treatment, or as a result of any act, or failure to act, in providing or arranging further medical treatment, where the person acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances and the person's actions or failure to act does not amount to willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence.
(b) The immunity from civil liability for any personal injury under subsection (2)(a) of this section includes the licensed physician who is involved with AED site placement, and the person who provides the CPR and AED training.
(c) The immunity from civil liability under subsection (2)(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.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1999.