Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

42 Pa.C.S.A 8331.2

Summary Title

Good Samaritan Law: Use of AED


An individual who, in good faith, acquires, maintains or uses an AED during an emergency will not be held legally responsible for acting or failing to act. They can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness or intent to cause harm, or they interfere with emergency medical services personnel or a health care professional. An individual who acquires and maintains an AED must have anticipated users complete training per national standards, maintain and test the AED according to manufacturer's standards, instruct users to immediately contact emergency medical services, and give appropriate information to emergency medical services personnel as requested. Generally, Good Samaritan laws only offer protection for those individuals who provide care during spontaneous emergencies unrelated to volunteer deployment.

Full Title

Good Samaritan Civil Immunity for Use of Automated External Defibrillator

Full Text

(a) General rule. — Any person who in good faith acquires and maintains an AED or uses an AED in an emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by an individual using the AED, except if acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions result in harm to the individual receiving the AED treatment. (b) Requirements. — Any person who acquires and maintains an AED for use in accordance with this section shall: (1) Ensure that expected AED users receive training pursuant to subsection (c). (2) Maintain and test the AED according to the manufacturer’s operational guidelines. (3) Provide instruction requiring the user of the AED to utilize available means to immediately contact and activate the emergency medical services system. (4) Assure that any appropriate data or information is made available to emergency medical services personnel or other health care providers as requested. (c) Training. — For purposes of this section, expected AED users shall complete training in the use of an AED consistent with American Red Cross, American Heart Association or other national standards as identified and approved by the Department of Health in consultation with the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council. (d) Obstruction of emergency medical services personnel. — Nothing in this section shall relieve a person who uses an AED from civil damages when that person obstructs or interferes with care and treatment being provided by emergency medical services personnel or a health professional. (e) Deleted (f) Definitions. — As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection: “Automated external defibrillator” or “AED.” —A portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm to an individual in cardiac arrest. “Emergency.” —A situation where an individual is believed to be in cardiac arrest or is in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury. “Good faith.” —Includes a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the use of an AED should not be postponed until emergency medical services personnel arrive or the person is hospitalized.