WASHINGTON, DC- In his recent radio address to the nation, President Clinton encouraged the increased use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in federal buildings and commercial airplanes. The President stressed the key to survival for many heart attack victims is the speed of response. About the size of a laptop computer and, therefore, very mobile, AEDs are relatively easy to use. Someone with moderate training follows the AED's voice commands and delivers a shock if necessary. AEDs are showing up in police and fire departments, hotels, airports, and other public places.
Clinton announced three ways he hopes to increase the access to AEDs by US citizens. He asked the Department of Health and Human Services and the General Services Administration to develop guidelines to equip all federal buildings with AEDs. Additionally, he is proposing that all commercial airplanes with at least one flight attendant carry an AED in their in-flight medical kit. Lastly, he is working with Congress to pass legislation that would "grant legal immunity to good Samaritans who use them [AEDs], whether in public or private buildings."