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Automated External Defibrillators (AED) In NH Schools

Where can I learn about an AED?

The American Heart Association Acrobat Reader(AHA) provides a summary.

Can I hurt myself or someone else with an AED?

The device will not deliver a shock to someone who does not need it. If no one is touching the patient when the "shock" button is pushed, no one can be injured.

Can you use an AED on a child?

Yes, an AED can be used on anyone over one year old. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the use of pediatric attenuated pads for children aged 1-8 years. However, if pediatric pads are not available, do not hesitate to use an AED with adult pads on a child in cardiac arrest.

Why is it a good idea to have an AED in schools?

Though sudden cardiac events are not common in children and adolescents, it is devastating when these incidents do occur. Many local communities opt to provide an AED in schools as one additional lifesaving intervention.

The students are not the only ones that benefit from placing an AED in schools. School employees and visitors are actually more likely to require an AED. Since schools are frequently major gathering sites within the community, it is a logical location.

How many AED should each school have?

It depends on the size of the school. It is recommended that an AED be available within 3 minutes of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) patient. The AHA provides materials on determining AED needs.

Where should they be located?

An AED should be placed at easily accessible, highly visible, high traffic areas. Consider locations where large numbers of people congregate like main entry ways, the gym or auditorium. Mount the AED low enough so that a child or a wheelchair-bound individual could reach it.

Building "AED on Site" signage should be installed to readily identify AED locations.

We recommend AED's mounted at fixed locations be kept at the location. Additional AED's should be obtained for portable use at outdoor events, on field trips, etc.

What training is required to use an AED?

The NH Bureau of EMS recommends a minimum of 1-person Adult CPR & AED training. Though an AED is designed for use by anyone of any skill level, proper training in AED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will maximize the effectiveness.

NH AED statute RSA 153-A:30 states, "Every person, association, corporation or other organization that acquires an AED shall require anticipated responders expected to use the AED to receive training in CPR and AED use. This section shall not limit the use of the AED to the anticipated responder nor shall this section limit the provisions of RSA 153-A:31."

Who should receive CPR/AED training?

All members of the public are encouraged to receive First Aid/CPR/AED training so as to be of assistance in any emergency.

In New Hampshire, school rules indicate that at least one person with current CPR and First Aid certification must be available to students at all time. So teachers, coaches, maintenance, food service, etc are urged to obtain CPR and First Aid certification.

Where can I obtain training?

Both the American Heart Association and Red Cross provide certification. Contact local EMS agencies, fire departments, or hospitals to find training resources available in your area.

Are there any protections from liability related to an AED?

Yes, RSA 153-A:31 specifically protects anyone who uses an AED in good faith.

What maintenance is involved?

An AED is designed to be compact, portable and require minimal maintenance.

The specific brand AED manufacturer's maintenance recommendations need to be followed to ensure the AED is operational.

Defibrillation pads and AED batteries need periodic replacement (2-4 years). An AED should not be exposed to temperature extremes. AED maintenance, coupled with First Aid/CPR/AED training, should be incorporated into school all hazards emergency planning.

What are the laws in NH related to AEDs?

NH AEDs are part of the state Emergency Medical Services (EMS) statutes and encourage the availability and use of an AED by the public. These laws offer protection from liability, mandate training, and require that all AEDs be registered by the state.

How do I register my AED?

All AEDs (other than for home personal use) need to be registered with NH Bureau of EMS. This facilitates recalls and allows Enhanced 9-1-1 operators to match the telephone number with the AED location.

For NH "AED Registry" forms contact Bill Wood, NHBEMS, (603) 223-4228 or

What do I have to do to purchase an AED?

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) considers an AED as a Class III medical device and need written physician authorization in order to be purchased. Limited brands of AEDs have been exempted by the USFDA and are available for direct purchase on the Internet. Check with specific AED vendors for authorization requirements.

Where can my school obtain an AED at reasonable costs?

Many local civic organizations may assist in the purchase of an AED. The AHA maintains a listing of AED vendors.

The NH Bureau of Purchase & Property, Department of Administrative Services, has established a contract to provide reduced pricing on AED equipment. For additional information on the AED "direct purchase opportunity" contact: Bill Wood, NH Bureau of Emergency Medical Services at (603) 223-4228 or

Are there possible insurance discounts for AED availability and training?

Contact your school insurance carrier(s) for possible AED and/or AED/CPR training reimbursements or incentives.

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New Hampshire Department of Education
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Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711