Defibrillators in public venues get the final go-ahead

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 26, 2012 - Page 3

The legislature yesterday approved an amendment to the Emergency Medical Service Act (緊急醫療救護法), designed to provide easy access to emergency treatment to decrease non-traumatic sudden deaths.

Under the amendment, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), used to restart a heart that has stopped beating or which is beating irregularly, are to be installed in public venues.

The legislation exempted non-medical professionals from any legal responsibility under the Civil Code or the Criminal Code, to relieve concerns that they could be held accountable for any consequences of conducting the treatment.

The use of AEDs by medical professionals in ambulances can raise the survival rate for non-traumatic patients from less than 1 percent to 5 percent. In Japan, where AEDs have been installed in public venues, the survival rate for non-traumatic patients has risen to 38 percent, the Department of Health said in a statement.

In addition, the amendment required video cameras to be installed in every ambulance as a deterrent against people refusing to give way to ambulances.