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Automated External Defibrillators

May 11, 2021 2085

Dental practices in California are not required to have automated external defibrillators (AED). California state law (Civil Code §1714.21) excludes from civil liability the individual or entity that acquires an AED for emergency use if the individual or entity has complied with specific requirements contained in Health & Safety Code §1797.196. An individual or entity that acquires an AED shall do all of the following:

  • Comply with all regulations governing the placement of an AED.
  • Notify an agent of the local emergency medical services (EMS) agency of the existence, location and type of AED acquired.
  • Ensure that the AED is maintained and tested according to the operation and maintenance guidelines set forth by the manufacturer.
  • Ensure that the AED is tested at least biannually and after each use.
  • Ensure that an inspection is made of all AEDs on the premises at least every 90 days for potential issues related to operability of the device, including a blinking light or other obvious defect that may suggest tampering or that another problem has arisen with the functionality of the AED.
  • Maintain records of required maintenance and testing.

Building owners are not required to place AEDs in buildings. However, when an AED is placed in a building, the building owner must do all of the following:

  • At least annually notify tenants of the location of the AED units and provide information about who tenants can contact if they want to voluntarily take AED or CPR training.
  • At least annually offer a demonstration to at least one person associated with the building so that the person can
  • be walked through how to use an AED properly in an emergency. The building owner may arrange for the demonstration or partner with a nonprofit organization to do so.
  • Next to the AED, post instructions, in no less than 14-point type, on how to use the AED.

Any person who, in good faith and not for compensation, renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an AED at the scene of an emergency is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in rendering the emergency care.

A medical director or other physician and surgeon is not required to be involved in the acquisition or placement of an AED. A manufacturer or retailer supplying an AED must provide all information governing the use, installation, operation, training and maintenance of the AED to the purchaser or owner of the AED.

The protections specified above do not apply in the case of personal injury or wrongful death that result from the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the person who renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an AED.