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House Votes for Heart Devices in Federal Buildings

May 24, 2000|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The House approved legislation Tuesday that would increase public availability of a medical device that could save thousands of people stricken with heart attacks.

The legislation, passed 415 to 2 and sent to the Senate, directs the Health and Human Services secretary to develop guidelines for placing automatic external defibrillators in federal buildings.

The measure also protects from lawsuits any person who provides emergency medical care with a defibrillator.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chief sponsor of the bill, said between 200,000 and 300,000 Americans die every year from sudden cardiac arrest. He said up to 30% of these victims could be saved if they had access to immediate medical treatment, including defibrillation.

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