Taiwan makes heart attack device mandatory in public areas

December 27, 2012

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Automated external defibrillators (AED), easy-to-use life-saving electric shock machines, will soon be required in public places in Taiwan to save cardiac arrest victims after the Legislative Yuan amended a related law yesterday.

Revisions to the Emergency Medical Services Act that cleared the Legislature’s floor also exempt people who try to save lives by using the device from criminal and civil liabilities if their attempt fails.

In Taiwan, about 20,000 people each year are found without vital signs before they get to a hospital, according to the Cabinet’s statistics.

Defibrillators could keep those who suffered cardiac arrest or had an irregular heartbeat alive until they can get treatment.

In passing the amendments, lawmakers cited Japan’s experience, where the installation of the automated defibrillators in locations such as train stations, airports and shopping malls have increased the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims to 38 per cent, from 7percent when an AED was not used.

Furthermore, to encourage medical professionals to save lives when they are not at work, the revised act exempts them from all legal responsibilities when using an AED in a public place.

Source: The China Post/Asia News Network

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