AAOHN expresses doubt whether AED issues addressed

Urges training before placing devices

These are some highlights from the position statement and advisory on the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), issued recently by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses in Atlanta:1

    4 Program coordinator.

    An AED program in the workplace "should include an on-site designated program coordinator. One important function of the program coordinator is to ensure that the devices are in working order.

    AAOHN believes that the occupational health nurse provides the continuity necessary for the provision of an effective and efficient occupational health and safety program. In this same regard, the occupational health nurse is the ideal candidate to manage a work-site AED program.

    4 Training requirements.

    "AAOHN is particularly concerned about the current lack of data on the necessary educational training requirements for responders utilizing AEDs. In addition, more research is needed on the efficacy of these devices. Policy issues must also be addressed related to the use of these devices. Enabling legislation to allow first responders to be able to use these devices must occur at the state level.

    Good Samaritan laws need to be examined and/or amended, if necessary, to ensure liability protections for volunteer users of the devices."

    4 Research priorities.

    AAOHN "believes that more information and research are needed prior to widespread use of these devices at the work-site. At the very least, companies utilizing these devices need to have an AED program in place, which includes a designated program coordinator, an education program to train users of the devices, and a quality improvement program."


1. American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. AAOHN position statement: Use of automatic external defibrillators. AAOHN J 1998; 46:324-324A.