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October 09, 2006 (512) 463-0300

LT. GOVERNOR SAYS ALL SCHOOLS NEED AUTOMATIC DEFIBRILLATORS

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced at a press conference today that he would submit a proposal to the Legislature that would require all public schools in Texas to be equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED). These devices are designed to restore a normal heart rhythm to people suffering from certain kinds of cardiac arrest.

Dewhurst was joined by Austin Westlake High School senior Matt Nader, whose life was saved by an AED when he collapsed at a football game in mid-September. Dr. Paul Tucker, an Austin cardiologist, was on hand to use the AED, which he said saved Matt's life. AEDs are designed to be used by a lay man or woman, and automatically detect the heart rhythm, if any, and are programmed to deliver the appropriate level of electric start to restart normal heart functions. These devices cost around $2000.

Dewhurst said that only 600 of the state's 1300 high schools are equipped with AEDs, and he wants to require all of the state's 8,000 public schools to have one. Dewhurst added that this requirement will not be an unfunded mandate, and that funds will come from either donations or from the state. "AEDs save lives. I think you'll agree with me, you can't put a price on saving a child's life or the life of school employee," he said. "If we can save just one life, then an AED is worth every penny."

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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