Senate Bill No. 619
(By Senators Prezioso, Jenkins, Wells, Hunter, Hall, Stollings,
Plymale, Unger, Kessler, Foster and Love)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported February 21, 2008.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §16-4D-2, §16-4D-3 and §16-4D-4 of the
Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to
adding definitions for anticipated and unanticipated users of
external defibrillators; and limiting liability toward
unanticipated users who render aid.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §16-4D-2, §16-4D-3 and §16-4D-4 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read
ARTICLE 4D. AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS.
(a) "Anticipated operator" means any person trained in
accordance with section three of this article who utilizes an
automated external defibrillator which was placed through an early defibrillation program.
"Automated external defibrillator", hereinafter
referred to as AED, means a medical device heart monitor and
defibrillator that: (1) Has undergone the premarket approval
process pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.
S. C. §360, as amended; (2) is capable of recognizing the presence
or absence of ventricular fibrillation; (3) is capable of
determining, without intervention by the operator, whether
defibrillation should be performed; and (4) upon determining that
defibrillation should be performed, automatically charges and
requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's
"Early defibrillation program" means a coordinated
program that meets the requirements of section three of this
article and one that provides early public access to defibrillation
for individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest through the use
of an automated external defibrillator.
"Emergency medical services (EMS)" means all services
established by the Emergency Medical Services Act of 1973 in
article four-c of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the
emergency medical services plan of the Department of Health and
Human Resources providing a response to the medical needs of an
individual to prevent the loss of life or aggravation of illness or
"Entity" means a public or private group,
organization, business, association or agency that meets the requirements of section three of this article. "Entity" does not
include emergency medical services operational programs or licensed
commercial ambulance services.
"Medical director" means a duly licensed physician who
serves as the designated medical coordinator for an entity's early
(g) "Unanticipated operator" means any person rendering
emergency medical care involving the use of an AED.
§16-4D-3. Early defibrillation programs.
An entity providing an early defibrillation program shall:
(1) Register the program with the Office of Emergency Medical
Services, pursuant to article four-c of this chapter, identifying
the placement of AEDs, training of
preplanned EMS system coordination, designation of a medical
director, maintenance of AED equipment and reports of AED
(2) Require the anticipated
operator of an AED to receive
appropriate training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, referred to
as "CPR", in the operation of an AED and in the determination of
advance directives from the American Heart Association, American
Red Cross, any other nationally recognized course in CPR and AED or
an AED and CPR training program approved by the Office of Emergency
(3) Maintain and test the AED in accordance with the
manufacturer's guidelines and keep written records of this
maintenance and testing;
(4) Designate a medical director for the coordination of the
program, which shall include, but not be limited to, training,
coordinating with EMS, creating AED deployment strategies and
reviewing each operation of an AED;
(5) Notify the local EMS system and public safety answering
point or other appropriate emergency dispatch center of the
existence of an entity's early defibrillation program, the location
of the program and the program's plan for coordination with the EMS
(6) Provide that an operator of an AED who renders emergency
care or treatment on a person experiencing cardiac arrest shall
activate the EMS system as soon as possible and shall report the
use of an AED to the program medical director; and
(7) Comply with the guidelines of the West Virginia Office of
Emergency Medical Services regarding data collection and reporting.
§16-4D-4. Limitation on liability.
A person is not liable for civil damages as a result of any
act or omission in rendering emergency medical care or treatment
involving the use of an AED if the care or treatment does not
amount to gross negligence and the following conditions are met:
(1) The person, entity, certified trainer or medical director
of the early defibrillation program is in compliance with the
provisions of section three of this article; and
(2) The person is an anticipated
operator of an AED who
gratuitously and in good faith rendered emergency medical care,
pursuant to the requirements of section three of this article, other than in the ordinary course of the person's employment or
(3) The person is an unanticipated operator who gratuitously
and in good faith rendered emergency medical care.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add definitions for
anticipated and unanticipated users of external defibrillators and
limiting liability toward unanticipated users who render aid.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would