WASHINGTON, DC — The Heart Rhythm Society applauds the passage of H.R. 1380, the “Josh Miller HEARTS Act,” a legislation that establishes a federal grant program to help fund the placement of automated electronic defibrillators (AEDs) at elementary and secondary schools across the country. While also requiring school personnel to receive training in the operation of AEDs, the legislation will increase public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and the importance of AEDs in schools.
“The Heart Rhythm Society appreciates Representative Betty Sutton’s successful efforts to promote a much needed national program for AED distribution and use,” said Dr. Richard L. Page, president of the Heart Rhythm Society. “Providing AEDs and personnel training through our educational institutions will help protect our children as well as the thousands of Americans in the broader community who fall victims to sudden cardiac arrest.”
SCA is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 300,000 deaths every year — more than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. The chance of survival decreases by about 10 percent for every minute that a defibrillation shock from an AED is not received, however, AEDs are still not widely available and the use is often unknown.
The legislation is supported by the Heart Rhythm Society and members of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.