Liability - Can I be Sued if I Help Someone Suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

State and federal "Good Samaritan" laws cover users who, in good faith, attempt to save a person from death. To date, there are no known judgments against anyone who used an AED to save someone's life. Click here to see a review of the good Samaritan laws of every state. Click here to see CT Bill Number 318

Can A Non-medical Person Make A Mistake When Using An AED?

AEDs are safe to use by anyone who has been shown how to use them. The AED's voice guides the rescuer through the steps involved in saving someone; for example, "apply pads to patient's bare chest" (the pads themselves have pictures of where they should be placed) and "press red shock button." Furthermore, safeguards have been designed into the unit precisely so that non-medical responders can't use the AED to shock someone who doesn't need a shock.

Can the AED Itself Make A Mistake?

It is unlikely. Studies show that AEDs interpret the victim's heart rhythm more quickly and accurately than many trained emergency professionals. If the AED determines that no shock is needed, it will not allow a shock to be given.

Is an AED Complicated to Use?

AEDs are very easy to use. An AED can be used by practically anyone who has been shown what to do. In fact, there are a number cases where people with no training at all have saved lives.

Learn more about your liability in a public access defibrillation program by reading this document prepared by The American Heart Association, and this document about a program implemented in Hartford CT.