Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2001
Contact: Dave Nelson
(512) 463-0112

BILL TO PREVENT CARDIAC DEATHS PASSES TEXAS SENATE

AUSTIN - Efforts by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to increase the availability of automatic defibrillators continued today as the Texas Senate approved a bill she authored to improve access to these lifesaving devices for state employees and visitors to the Texas Capitol.

Senate Bill 531, which was approved unanimously and now heads to the House, directs the Texas Department of Health in conjunction with the General Services Commission to survey the need for and develop a statewide plan to install Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, in all state buildings.

"These devices are true life-savers, especially if they are readily accessible at the scene of an emergency," Senator Nelson said. "The recent installation of these devices at the Austin airport saved the life of my good friend, Gary Terry, just last month while he was visiting the Capitol. His heart attack could have easily occurred on the Capitol grounds, and we should be prepared for such events to protect our visitors and our state employees."

Each year more than 25,000 adults suffer cardiac arrest, and more than 95 percent of those adults die because defibrillation occurs too late to restart the heart. For every minute that passes before returning the heart to a normal rhythm, the chance of survival is decreased by 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association.

Senator Nelson authored a law approved last session that shields from liability those good Samaritans who use an automatic defibrillator at the scene of an emergency.

Senator Nelson represent Senate District 12, which includes parts of Dallas, Denton, Ellis and Tarrant counties.

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