Title 16

Chapter 21
Health and Safety of Pupils

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-33.1

§ 16-21-33.1. Automatic external defibrillators.

(a) Legislative findings:

(1) Approximately three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000) Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest (“SCA”) each year and more than ninety-five percent (95%) of them die before reaching the hospital;

(2) In the population of Rhode Island, an estimated one thousand (1,000) residents will die of cardiac arrest every year;

(3) No official statistics have been gathered about SCA in children, however experts estimate about three hundred (300) deaths because of SCA every year for people under the age of twenty-one (21) or about one tenth of one percent (.001%);

(4) This means that at least one person under the age of twenty-one (21) years, most likely a student, will die due to athletics related SCA every year in Rhode Island;

(5) If defibrillation is performed within five (5) to seven (7) minutes, chances of survival are increased by forty-nine percent (49%). Every minute that goes by without defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by seven percent (7%) to ten percent (10%);

(6) Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are extremely accurate computerized devices that can be operated by the average person;

(7) AEDs are inexpensive and grants for AEDs are mostly given to nonprofit organizations, such as schools; and

(8) AEDs can be acquired through grants from various organizations or through government agencies.

(b) All high schools and middle schools, whether they are public or privately run, shall provide and maintain on-site functional automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in quantities and types, deemed by the commissioner of education, in consultation with the director of health, to be adequate to ensure ready and appropriate access for use during emergencies. Whenever school facilities are used for school-sponsored or school-approved curricular or extracurricular activities, and whenever a school-sponsored athletic contest is held at any location, the school officials and administrators responsible for such school facility or athletic contest shall ensure the presence of at least one person who is properly trained in the operation and use of an AED. Such training may be conducted by qualified personnel, including, but not limited to, municipal fire and police department employees.

History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 336, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 357, § 1.