ALBANY, NY, June 17, 2011 – The New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) announced today at its annual House of Delegates meeting that Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law on June 8th that will improve public health and safety of New Yorkers statewide. Beginning January 1, 2012, all dentist offices in New York State will be required to have Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) on-site. Dentists in New York are already required to be trained to use these devices. AED’s save lives and now over 10,000 dental offices across the State will have them available.
“We are pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed this important piece of legislation,” said Dr. Robert Doherty, President of NYSDA. “Over the years NYSDA has been a leader in public health legislation advocating proactively for appropriate protection from radiation and for certification requirements for administering anesthesia. This is just another way that the dental community is working to ensure the overall health and safety of all patients.”
New York is the second and largest state to statutorily, uniformly require that all dental offices possess AEDs. Illinois is the only other state that requires all dental offices to have AEDs. Other states have laws that require various conditions under which a dental office must have an AED usually related to the use of sedation.
“The American Red Cross strongly supported this legislation, and we commend the efforts of the Governor, the New York State Legislature and the New York State Dental Association for recognizing the important and proactive effects the installation of AED’s in dental offices will have,” said Gary Striar, CEO of American Red Cross of Northeastern New York.
NYSDA’s support of AEDs in dental offices is a result of the indisputable evidence that they greatly improve outcomes for people experiencing cardiac arrest. The prognosis of pre-hospital cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation is dependent on the first few minutes following the arrest. The importance of early defibrillation cannot be over-emphasized. The availability and use of AEDs has resulted in a marked increase in the effectiveness of pre-hospital CPR in saving lives.
It is estimated that an individual’s chances for survival decreases by 10% for each minute that defibrillation is delayed. Early defibrillation has been shown to be more effective than CPR alone. The national average for survival after sudden cardiac arrest is 5-6% without immediate defibrillation. In metropolitan areas, the survival rates are actually lower, 1-2%, leading many communities to equip first responders with AEDs. Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs have raised survival rates up to 60%.
While dental offices are not a site where cardiac arrest is likely to occur, as many people frequent dental offices, the availability of an AED provides additional protection for those in a dental office who may experience an unanticipated cardiac event, regardless of the cause.
This bill was sponsored by Senator Martin J. Golden and Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr. and supported by groups from around the state including the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys.
“The American Heart Association applauds the New York State Dental Association for taking positive steps to strengthen the links of the chain of survival,” said Bob Elling, member of the Capital Region American Heart Association Advisory Board, paramedic and paramedic instructor. “It makes sense for dentists to have early access to an AED to utilize as needed. Starting this chain of survival means that dentists will be prepared to work with the incoming EMTs and paramedics in their EMS System."
The New York State Dental Association, founded in 1868, is one of the largest constituents of the American Dental Association and represents more than 13,000 dentists practicing in New York State.