Unlike many state’s AED laws, the AED ownership requirements in the state of Minnesota could become MORE restrictive with the passing of HF1971 (read full text here). The Minnesota law would begin requiring AED unit registration with one of a handful of approved registry systems, provide updates related to change of ownership, add a new policies manual, encourage AED signage, amongst other requirements.
This proposed law, like most other AED legislation, begins with the noblest of intentions, however, I see a couple holes:
- Registering AEDs is important, in fact its a feature of the Arch AED management system we built and use to oversee our customer’s programs. Requiring registration with one of the Bill’s systems, however, is problematic. These systems aren’t maintained in the same way Arch maintains its records. With these other systems, units are frequently found in diverse, inaccurate, locations (e.g. a random search very well could show a unit out of the desired search area). There aren’t human-based tools to approve records, so SPAM and unwanted records are included.
- Who owns the AED unit data? Are salespeople going to start calling? Are government officials going to start coming by your office? It is very important that AED owners’ records remain private, especially in light of the fact that these are prescriptive medical devices. We feel that opting in to share this data or, at worst, having the ability to opt-out, is the fair balance; not mandating an opt-in ONLY provision.
- The AED must be kept “in the location specified in the registration.” I understand the intent, as if the general public is going to rely on a unit, they need to know its there, but what happens when we add these types of new requirements? Are AED owners supposed to remember to inform the government authorities if they take their AED with them to a an off-site retreat or to a sporting event? If they don’t remember and there’s an incident, are they now more likely to be sued and held liable since they’d explicitly be violating a new provision of the law?
- Proponents of this Bill cite that the increased regulations will help AED owners remember to replace their AED batteries and electrode pads as well as receive warning of AED recalls. Not so fast. Annuvia and other AED distributors can make such a claim, because, well, we sell AEDs…is the state of Minnesota picking up a new line of business? Also, where in the law are these items mentioned? They’re not.
Does adding more requirements encourage AED ownership or hurt it? That’s the primary question we need to ask and answer.