CLINTON: Calls for Cardiac Devices in Planes
In his weekly radio address Saturday, President Clinton announced a proposed FAA rule that will compel U.S. airlines to carry heart defibrillators on all domestic and international flights, Reuters/Washington Times reports. The plan, expected to cost the airline industry $138 million over 10 years, also will require training for flight attendants on using the machines and on CPR. According to the FAA, the agency will issue a final rule by the end of the year, and airlines would then have three years to comply. "With this new technology, we have the ability to turn around the odds. We can give average citizens the power to restart a heart and save a life," Clinton said. The president also showed support for the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act, a bill that would "encourage the use of defibrillators" by limiting the liability of non-medical personnel using them in emergencies. The full Senate and the House Commerce Committee already approved the legislation, which is expected to reach the House floor for a full vote on Tuesday. In addition to the new FAA proposal, Clinton also directed the government to write guidelines for putting defibrillators in all federal buildings. According to the White House, 20,000 lives would be saved annually if the devices were installed in planes, federal buildings and other key locations. About 250,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest (5/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.