Public Access Defibrillation

According to the American Heart Association, Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death of adults in the United States, striking approximately 340,000 people every year. Fewer than 5% of those victims survive, largely because emergency medical services can not reach them in time even in the best of circumstances The primary cardiac abnormality that occurs after cardiac arrest is an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. The only known therapy to ventricular fibrillation is defibrillation, and time to defibrillation is the key factor in survivability. According the American Heart Association, chances of survival decrease by 7-10% for each minute that passes by without defibrillation. The combination of timely and effective CPR, and early defibrillation is a highly effective treatment for the most common form of SCA, significantly improving the chances of survival.

Recent advantages in modern computer technology have resulted in new strategies to combat these deadly occurrences. Devices known as Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, can analyze a heart rhythm, recognize a shockable heart rhythm, and advise the operator to deliver the potentially lifesaving shock. AEDs are extremely accurate and so simple to use that defibrillation, a skill which was once reserved for only physicians, can now be delivered by any citizen who completes the appropriate four (4) hour training course and is part of an organized defibrillation program.

In 1998, Governor Pataki signed the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) law into effect here in New York State. The law was intended to reduce mortality and morbidity from sudden cardiac arrest by placing these lifesaving devices in the hands of ordinary citizens, thereby saving precious minutes during an emergency. According to the American Heart Association, survival rates as high as fifty-nine percent (59%), twice those documented in most EMS systems, have been reported in PAD Programs.

We welcome your interest and participation in the PAD Program and are available to answer any questions you may have to help you make an informed decision.


More Information About Public Access Defibrillation

Chapter 552 of the Laws of 1998 (Article 30 Public Health Law, Section 3000-B) authorizes the establishment of Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs. In an effort to reduce the number of deaths associated with sudden cardiac arrest, this law was enacted so that greater acquisition, deployment and use of AEDs is encouraged.

Any individual or organization that wishes to participate in a PAD program must file a Notice of Intent to Provide PAD (DOH 4135), submit a signed copy of a Collaborative Agreement between the individual/organization and an Emergency Health Care Provider, and meet all requirements set forth in the Collaborative Agreement, which includes:

All requests for further information should be directed to: Ellen Komosinski, Deputy Chief, CISD/TC Coordinator

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