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Transmittal Notice

  1. Explanation of Material Transmitted: This issuance establishes policy, responsibilities and procedures for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) Program to support all NIH employees. This Program is administered by the Office of Research Services (ORS), Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS).
  2. Filing Instructions:

Insert: NIH Policy Manual, Chapter 1408, dated 10/31/2019.

PLEASE NOTE: For information on:

Advances in technology have provided several innovative opportunities to prevent unnecessary disability and death. One of the most important of these advances is the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The ease of use of AEDs by the trained lay public has led to the increasing development of Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs. The decreased cost of acquisition and maintenance of AEDs now makes it possible to further increase the availability and access to these lifesaving devices.

The NIH PAD Program exists to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) instruction with the use of AEDs in the event of a cardiac emergency involving employees or visitors at the NIH. The program is administered by the Office of Research Services (ORS), Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS).

This policy applies to all NIH Institutes and Centers (IC) and the Office of the Director (OD), as well as all NIH employees and/or contractors affiliated with NIH.

On May 23, 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the General Services Administration (GSA) jointly issued “Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities.” 66 FR 28495-28501. These guidelines were prepared, in part, in response to a May 19, 2000, Presidential Memorandum directing HHS and GSA to issue guidelines for the placement of automated external defibrillator (AED) devices in Federal buildings. In addition, section 7 of the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999, Public Law 106-129 (December 6, 1999), 42 U.S.C. 241 note, and section 247 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 238p (as added by section 403 of the Public Health Improvement Act, Pub. L. 106-505 (November 13, 2000), directed the Secretary of HHS to establish and publish the guidelines.

The Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities have since been revised and do not exhaustively address all aspects of AED and PAD programs. Instead, they outline the key elements of a PAD program so that facility-specific, detailed plans and programs can be developed in an informed manner.

The NIH PAD Program offers free, voluntary CPR/AED training for NIH employees and is responsible for the placement and maintenance of AEDs in NIH facilities. The AEDs are used to apply electrical shocks that can restore normal cardiac rhythm until Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel arrive on site. The DOHS conducts monthly inspections of AEDs strategically located at NIH facilities.

It is the policy of the NIH to provide a PAD Program in support of the NIH workforce, its contractors and visitors both on and off campus. The Office of Research Services (ORS), Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS), Community Health Branch (CHB), manages the PAD Program with oversight by an assigned Occupational Medical Service (OMS) physician.

E. Responsibilities

  1. The ORS, DOHS, Community Health Branch (CHB)

The CHB provides CPR/AED Training, i.e. Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers and/or Public Health Service Officers, and Heart Saver Training for Lay-Responders. The CHB also ensures the NIH-American Heart Association (AHA) Training Center has certified AHA instructors; and that certification E-cards are issued to those who successfully complete the trainingEach trainee who receives an AHA certification E-card is required to self-track and renew their E-card with the Training Center before expiration. Instructors who receive their instructor credentials from the NIHAHA Training Center must attend an annual instructor update from the Training Center and follow guidelines provided by the AHA Program Administrative Manual (PAM) in order to renew their credentials. Failure to renew training will invalidate their certification.

The CHB provides AEDs at both, on and off campus locations, and conducts monthly inspections; maintains equipment when replacement parts expire; and supports AEDs in new locations across the NIH community when advised by building occupants and/or facility managers due to relocation, renovation projects, etc.

  1. The NIH Clinical Center (CC), Nursing Department

The NIH CC Nursing Department provides the course registration platform for DOHS to incorporate periodic Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers and/or Public Health Service Officers, and Heart Saver Training for Lay-Responders.

  1. The ORS, DOHS, Occupational Medical Service (OMS)

The OMS provides medical oversight of the NIH PAD Program. The OMS physician serves as a consultant in all aspects of the program. The OMS physician assesses the PAD system's performance after the use of an AED, including review of the AED data and the electrocardiograph tracing of a victim.

CPR/AED Training and Certification will be provided to NIH employees and/or contractors affiliated with NIH as outlined at

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