Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


March 14, 2012
Press Release

Washington, DC– Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today announced that 21 heart advocacy organizations affiliated with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition have endorsed his legislation, H.R. 3511, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act. Olson’s bill will help increase the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) through development of a nationally uniform baseline of protection for persons who use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in an attempt to save a life.

"Quick use of AEDs saves lives," Rep. Pete Olson said. "This common sense legislation provides peace of mind for Good Samaritans. By removing the threat of unnecessary lawsuits, this bill will encourage greater deployment of AEDs in public and private establishments. Wider use of AEDs will reduce response times and could save an additional 36,000 lives per year."

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of Medicine at the GW Medical Center & Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at GW Hospital said," "This year more  than 300,000 Americans will die from SCA, a staggering number equivalent to the population of a city the size of Pittsburgh. The Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2011 (HR 3511) introduced by Rep. Pete Olson will create a uniform base of liability protection for AED owners and Good Samaritan responders. This bill has been endorsed by 20 national organizations and has the potential to save thousands of lives every year."

SCA strikes roughly 295,000 individuals a year – people of all ages, races and physical health. Approximately 70 percent of those victims could be saved if someone intervenes and responds by engaging the emergency system, performing CPR and locating and using an AED. Sadly, survival rates for out-of-hospital SCA victims have remained a low eight percent for thirty years. Immediate CPR and early defibrillation, using an AED, can more than double a patient’s chance of survival, but only if a person acts.

Organizations endorsing Olson's Cardiac Arrest Survival Act include:

American College of Cardiology, American College of Sports Medicine, Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation, Inc., Heart Rhythm Society, Florida Heart Research Institute, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association – HCMA, International Association of Fire Chiefs, JTB Foundation, KEN (Kids Endangered Now) Heart Foundation, Parent Heart Watch, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Project S.A.V.E. at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, R. Andrew Helgeson Memorial Foundation, SADS Foundation (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes), Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists, The John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, The Mended Hearts, Inc., The Travis R. Roy Sudden Cardiac Arrest Fund, Cardiac Ahrythmia Syndromes Foundation, The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation


Media Contact: Melissa Kelly