Saving lives with AEDs

Last week, employees at Schick Manufacturing used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to save a co-worker who was in cardiac arrest.

Their quick thinking and their knowledge in using the defibrillator clearly saved their colleague’s life.

Milford Fire Department paramedics, upon their arrival at the scene, continued advanced life support on the patient before he was transported to Milford Hospital.

We echo the sentiments of Milford fire department officials and commend the Schick employees for their bold actions.

We also feel it worth pointing out that the mere presence of the AED provided them with the opportunity to save their colleague’s life.

Several years ago, AEDs were not as commonplace in public buildings as they are now.

But recent changes in state law have mandated they be made available in such places as K-12 schools, higher education athletic fields and in certain medical and public buildings.

Another recent change in the law actually grants immunity from liability for anyone acting as a “good Samaritan” when using an AED in an emergency situation.

A summary of this change in law states that, “The law extends immunity from liability to any person operating an AED who voluntarily, gratuitously, and not in the ordinary course of his or her employment or practice, gives emergency assistance to a person in need.”

“It specifies that the person providing assistance is not liable for civil damages for acts or omissions in providing the emergency care that might constitute ordinary negligence.”

“The law also provides immunity in a lawsuit for damages for acts arising out of a person’s or entity’s negligence in providing or maintaining an AED.”

We don’t imagine that the Schick employees who jumped in to save their colleague’s life considered such issues in a moment of crisis. They likely acted on instinct.

According to city officials, Milford has 28 defibrillators deployed in public buildings and there are numerous folks who are trained in their use.

For the benefit of our community, we encourage those interested in taking a CPR course to seek additional training in the use of AEDs if it is available.