What is “Public Access Defibrillation”?
Public Access Defibrillation is the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) by persons other than traditional EMS responders, to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). AEDs are computerized “smart” defibrillators which incorporate technology capable of recognizing which victims of cardiac
arrest require the immediate application of one or more electric shocks to restore their hearts to organized, blood-pumping states.
What is the Purpose of PAD?
The purpose of PAD is to increase the likelihood of survival of victims of sudden cardiac arrest occurring
outside of a hospital, by reducing the time interval from the victim’s collapse until the application of a defibrillator to the minimum possible.
Why is PAD Important?
Extensive medical research has demonstrated that, even with properly-performed CPR, the likelihood of survival of a victim of SCA decreases by up to 10% for every minute that goes by between the onset of SCA and the first application of an AED.
In communities in other states where PAD programs have been put into place, the overall survival rate of all victims of out-of-hospital SCA is approaching 50%. (Survival means that the victim is discharged alive from the hospital, and goes home with some level of retained physical and mental function). In the average community in the United States today, that rate is only 10% to 20%.
What has made PAD Possible?
In response to powerful recommendations from the medical and EMS communities across the state, the
New York State Legislature passed, and Governor George Pataki signed into law in late August of 1998, a bill amending the Public Health Law to permit the creation of PAD programs. This law allows virtually any public or private entity to collaborate with a physician or hospital to acquire, and to train personnel in the use of, AEDs. The advent of compact, more affordable ($1,000 to $2,000 each) and virtually maintenance-free AEDs has made it possible for personnel with a minimum of training (4 - 6 hours) to safely and effectively provide life-saving early defibrillation to victims of SCA.
Can all SCA Victims Benefit from PAD?
Persons who are suffering from certain disturbances in the electrical rhythm that controls their heartbeat
can have those disturbances corrected by the early application of an AED. Such persons represent the vast majority of victims of SCA (75% - 85%), at least at the onset. Extensive medical research has demonstrated that a large percentage of such victims can be restored to life-sustaining heart function if defibrillation is applied within the first few minutes following the onset of SCA.
What is Required to Sponsor a PAD Program?
The law requires that any business, organization, or agency, public or private, meet certain requirements in order to sponsor a PAD program contact us for specifics regarding your county rules and regulations