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Virginia SB 1453: AED Requirements Accelerate in VA Schools

Virginia's AED Requirements

Virginia is the latest state to strengthen its AED requirements in schools. The state recently passed a new law, Senate Bill 1453, which requires all public elementary and secondary schools to have a readily accessible AED on campus. The bill not only requires schools to have an AED, but it also mandates that schools develop an emergency action plan for how to effectively use the AED in case of a cardiac emergency. Finally, the bill stipulates that schools must also take responsibility for maintaining the device throughout its lifespan. 

Virginia's AED Requirements

Since 2016, high schools in Virginia have made CPR/AED training a part of the health curriculum and a requirement for graduation, thanks to the passing of Gwyneth’s Law. SB 1453 seeks to strengthen AED advocacy efforts and increase survival rates from cardiac arrest across the state at large.

Betsy Looney, president-elect for the Virginia Association of School Nurses shared that, “[Senate Bill 1453] was the missing link. You require all of this, but you don’t have the $1,000 piece of machinery that is proven to save lives. Children go into cardiac arrest, adults go into cardiac arrest, and if you put that AED on them, it saves them. That is a proven fact.” 

Virginia’s AED Requirements and SB 1453

Virginians are not immune to the devastating impact Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can have on school-aged children and communities at large. In 2012, a Stafford County, VA  seventh grader, Gwyneth Griffin, passed away from SCA at her middle school. The thirteen-year-old did not receive CPR, and the school had no defibrillator available, so the adults around her had no choice but to wait over 10 minutes for first responders to arrive. By that time it was too late.

Read her full story here.

Virginia passed Gwyneth’s Law one year later in her honor after her parents championed to make CPR/AED training a requirement in all high schools. In 2013, Stafford County also became the commonwealth of Virginia’s first Heart Safe Community, working to provide better protection against SCA and increase survival rates by equipping schools with AEDs, CPR/AED training, and a plan of action to respond to these emergencies. 

Catalysts and Costs

Part of the new SB 1453 includes a proposal of $400,000 in state funding to help schools cover the cost of purchasing an AED. Virginia senator Jeremy McPike identifies a lack of funding as the primary obstacle to successfully implementing this legislation throughout schools in the state. 

It is no secret that most US public schools operate on a tight budget, and at Avive, we believe that no institution should be ill equipped to respond to SCA due to a lack of funds, especially once the legislation has been put in place to support this mission. This is why we’ve launched our LIFESaver Plan™, which gives anyone the opportunity to own an AED for just $349/year, or less than $1/day. 

McPike cites Damar Hamlin’s public cardiac arrest during the opening minutes of a Monday Night Football game earlier this year as a catalyst for introducing SB 1453 bill to the General Assembly.

The Data Speaks for Itself

Equipping schools with AEDs not only protects the children who learn and grow up there, but it provides defense against cardiac arrest for the staff, teachers, and community members who gather on campus every day. From athletic events to theater performances to extracurricular activities, roughly 20% of the nation’s population can be found in schools everyday, cementing the need for access to the tool that can save a life from cardiac arrest. 

The survival rates for SCA nationally hover around a dismal 7-10%; however, on school campuses that have AEDs available, the survival rate shoots up to 70%. Purchasing an AED for your school provides a 7x higher chance of survival from SCA, a leading cause of death in the US and the number one cause of death for student athletes. 

It inspires hope to see such a populous state like Virginia implementing legislation to protect large portions of the population, and we hope that this initiative will help build the momentum surrounding a need for all schools to have a readily accessible AED on site.

Avive is Here To Help!

The Avive Connect AED™ contains a number of novel features that help schools manage, effectively use, and afford AEDs. 

Avive’s AllRescue™ Technology allows every Avive AED to be used on either children or adults with the same set of electrode pads, saving time during an emergency and total cost of ownership throughout the life of the device. The Child button allows the user to transition between adult and pediatric therapy modes without the need for a pediatric key or separate set of electrode pads.

English and Spanish audio and text instructions are, also, available at the press of a button for multilingual users and communities.

Powered by REALConnect™, every Avive Connect AED has Cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS Connectivity. Our REALConnect™ Platform uses daily wireless monitoring to provide AED managers with complete visibility of their fleet of devices, useful for schools that have one AED or many. Its quick notifications help save time and money while providing unparalleled program visibility.  

Finally, at $349/year, our LIFESaver Plan makes owning an AED affordable goal for every institution.

If you have questions about purchasing AEDs for your school or district, please email, or give us a call at (800)- 489- 4428. We’re here to help you find a solution to keep the hearts and minds of your community safe.

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