October 3, 2023 • Guilford, CT
Senators, Congressmen Urge Deployment of AEDs and Emergency Action Plans in Every Federal Building
Today Defibtech, a leader and innovator in the in the design and manufacture of life-saving resuscitation devices, commended Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-CT and Mike Braun, R-IN, and Representatives Colin Allred, D-TX 32, and Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick, D-FL 20, for leading a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA) regarding the implementation of Congressional directives around the deployment of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in federally owned or managed buildings. The letter, sent on Friday, was signed by 13 bipartisan, bicameral Members of Congress.
According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the United States. Nearly 1,000 Americans suffer a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) event every day, and survival rates are extremely low without immediate intervention. The use of an AED significantly increases the chance of survival, which is why it is so important that federal buildings are equipped with this life-saving technology.
“AEDs save lives and should be made readily available in case of emergency, including in federal buildings,” said Blumenthal. “I am proud to work with a bipartisan group of my congressional colleagues to urge GSA to improve access to these important devices in government buildings.”
“The whole country followed the brave journey of Damar Hamlin, who received life-saving care thanks to the quick and heroic action of the Bills medical staff and the accessibility of an AED,” said Allred. “Ensuring that public buildings have easily accessible AEDs is a commonsense step we can take to save lives. I’m proud to join my colleagues in urging the General Services Administration to prioritize making AEDs accessible in federally owned and managed buildings.”
The letter reinforces Congress’ sustained commitment to increasing public access to AEDs. Last year, the House and Senate included a directive to GSA in the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Bill instructing the GSA to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to examine how the Agency can improve access to AEDs in federal buildings. Now, Senators Blumenthal and Braun and Representatives Allred and Cherfilus-McCormick have bolstered these efforts by urging GSA to follow this lifesaving directive as soon as possible.
“Ensuring that the right tools and training are in place can save a life. The nation watched this unfold when NFL player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest on national television,” said Cherfilus-McCormick. “AEDs will save lives, but only if they are within reach when Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes. I am on a mission to expand life-saving health care tools that increase the likelihood of survival and deliver better health outcomes.”
The letter states that,
“Congressional intent is clear in urging GSA to study ways to improve the deployment of AEDs in federal buildings. While Congress gave GSA one year to comply with its directive regarding AEDs, we urge you to comply with this directive as soon as possible given the severity of the need and the life-saving difference that AEDs can make. Additionally, we encourage you to prioritize not only AED procurement and deployment within GSA’s building guidelines and procedures, but also awareness of and training as to their use, including through the development of emergency action plans. This will ensure that AEDs are not only present but can also appropriately and quickly be used in an emergency, which is vital to saving lives in sudden cardiac arrest events.”
These efforts come less than a year after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was resuscitated by medical staff using an AED before a national television audience of more than 23 million Americans. This reality was reiterated again this summer when LeBron James Jr. suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during a basketball practice at the University of Southern California.
“We are pleased to see Members of Congress encouraging the GSA to act swiftly on this important directive,” said Joseph Mullally, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Defibtech. “The sooner we see more AEDs deployed in federal buildings, along with emergency action plans implemented, the more lives can be saved from sudden cardiac arrest.”
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Defibtech is a leader and innovator in the design and manufacture of life-saving resuscitation devices including automated external defibrillators (AEDs), mechanical chest compressors, and related accessories that the public and healthcare professionals depend on every day. With more than 550,000 AED units shipped worldwide, Defibtech is committed to saving lives by producing the best AEDs that advanced medical technology has to offer. Headquartered in Guilford, Conn., all of Defibtech’s life-saving products are conceived and developed in-house and are designed and built in the United States at their state-of-the-art facilities. For more information about Defibtech and its products, visit www.defibtech.com.