House approves Corvese bill to require AEDs at all
health care facilities


STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese to require all health care facilities to have a functioning automated external defibrillator and a person trained in its use.

Automated external defibrillators (AED) analyze a person’s heartbeat and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock to the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. Since 2017, Rhode Island law has required public places with a capacity of 300 or more people to keep one on site, and to have at least one person trained to use it.

Representative Corvese’s legislation (2024-H 7044A) would ensure that health care facilities, regardless of capacity, are subject to the same requirement. The requirement would include hospitals, nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, treatment centers, school and neighborhood health centers and the like, as well as physicians’, dentists’ and other health care providers’ offices.

Representative Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) said he introduced the bill after a friend experienced a near-fatal reaction to a lydocaine injection at a health care facility.  While fortunately, his friend did survive, the person went into cardiac arrest while being transported by ambulance to a hospital. That situation likely would have been fatal had the ambulance not arrived sooner, since the facility where he received the treatment was not equipped with an AED.

“AEDs absolutely save lives. Cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, but health care facilities in particular should be equipped for that situation. The more AEDs that are available in places where people are, the more likely it is that people will survive cardiac arrest,” said Representative Corvese.

The bill now goes to the Senate.