AED Legal Analysis for California

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Owning an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) unit in California can be a challenging task. Previous laws mandate owners must have a California-licensed physician oversee their AED program and approve the policies and procedures governing the AED's use. Moreover, they must provide CPR/AED training, register the AED unit with the local EMS agency, and keep and maintain 30-day AED unit Readiness checks.
Laws enacted September 2015 removed physician oversight and training requirements, however the laws from the previous legislature were not removed, and still remain in place. Until these conflicting regulations are determined one way or the other, it is recommended to err on the side of caution when designing and implementing AED programs. Good Samaritan protection may depend on compliance with some or all of these laws.
California also has AED unit requirements for select facilities. For instance, in 2007, with AB 1507, California imposed a mandate requiring AED units in health clubs (gyms/fitness clubs).
SB287 mandates an AED in any new construction building where occupancy will be 200 people or more. Law takes effect 1/1/2017.
SB 658 removes physician requirement for placement of AED.


Statute Law Type Effective Date Abstract
22 CCR § 100037 Training requirement Requires training for those individuals who may use the AED.
22 CCR § 100038 22 CCR § 100039 Training requirement Requirements for the AED Training Program.
22 CCR § 100040 Physician requirement Requires any entity that purchased an AED for potential public use to have a physician Medical Director that meets the requirements outlined in the law.
22 CCR § 100041 Other requirements An entity that acquires an AED shall ensure their internal AED programs include all of the following: (1) development of a written Internal Emergency Response Plan; (2) maintain AEDs in working order and maintain current protocols on the AEDs; (3) that all applicable local EMS policies and procedures are followed; (4) that Lay rescuers complete a training course in CPR and AED use and maintain current CPR and AED training that complies with requirements; (5) for every AED unit acquired up to five units, no less than one Lay Rescuer per AED unit shall complete a training course in CPR and AED use that complies with the requirements. After the first five AED units are acquired, one Lay Rescuer shall be trained for each additional five AED units acquired. AED Service Providers shall have Lay Rescuers who should be on site to respond to an emergency that may involve the use of an AED unit during normal operating hours; (6) that the defibrillator is maintained and regularly tested according to the operation and maintenance guidelines set forth by the manufacturer, and according to any applicable rules and regulations set forth by the governmental authority; (7) that the defibrillator is checked for readiness after each use and at least once every 30 days if the AED has not been used in the previous 30 days. Records of these periodic checks shall be maintained; (8) that a mechanism exists to ensure that any person activates the emergency medical services system as soon as possible, and reports any use of the AED Medical Director and the local EMS agency; (9) that there is involvement of a currently licensed California physician and surgeon that meets the requirements; (10) that a mechanism exists that will assure the continued competency of the CPR and AED trained individuals in the AED Service Provider's employ to include periodic training and skills proficiency demonstrations.
22 CCR § 100042 Registration Requires AED to be registered with the local EMS agency.
Cal. Health & Safety Code § 104113 Mandate The law requires AEDs in health studios.
Cal.Civ.Code § 1714.21 Good Samaritan The law limits civil liability under certain circumstances of use, or an attempted use, of an 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 person or entity that acquires an AED for emergency use pursuant to this section is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in the rendering of the emergency care by use of an AED, if that person or entity has complied with subdivision (b) of Section 1797.196 of the Health and Safety Code. (Updated Jan. 12, 2016 based on new changes to law effective Jan. 1, 2016).
Cal.Health & Safety Code § 1797.196 Registration Requirement; Other Requirements A person or entity that acquires an AED must do all of the following: (A) Comply with all regulations governing the placement of an AED. (B) Notify an agent of the local EMS agency of the existence, location, and type of AED acquired. (C) Ensure that the AED is maintained and tested according to the operation and maintenance guidelines set forth by the manufacturer. (D) Ensure that the AED is tested at least biannually and after each use. (E) 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. (F) Ensure that records of the maintenance and testing required pursuant to this paragraph are maintained. When an AED is placed in a building, building owners shall do all of the following: (A) At least once a year, notify the tenants as to the location of the AED units and provide information to tenants about who they can contact if they want to voluntarily take AED or CPR training. (B) At least once a year, 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. (C) Next to the AED, post instructions, in no less than 14-point type, on how to use the AED. (Updated Jan. 12, 2016 based on new changes to law effective Jan. 1, 2016)

We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of our research regarding automated external defibrillator (AED) unit laws in each state across the country, however, with laws varying from state-to-state and even on a local basis, as you might imagine, staying abreast of constant changes is a very challenging process. As such, it's important to note that our findings should be used for informational purposes only and that any specific AED laws or AED requirements for your AED program should be developed between you and your legal counsel. If you have any suggestions, information, or tips on new or pending AED unit legislation that you feel might help improve our AED requirement pages, please contact us to let us know! By spreading knowledge about how to build and manage legally compliant AED programs, we hope to improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.