UT Tyler

AED Response Program

Environmental Health and Safety

The University of Texas at Tyler has instituted an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Response Program under the medical direction of Dr. Dudley Goulden, professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

AEDs are currently stationed (with more to be added in upcoming years) in the following locations:

  • Police Department, Physical Plant Mobile Unit
  • Administration Building, 3rd Floor, Behind General Reception Desk
  • Library, 2nd Floor, Circulation Desk
  • Cowan Center, 1st Floor, Usher's Room
  • Nursing Building, Dean’s Office
  • Student Affairs/Athletics Office, University Center

What is an AED and how does it work?

The AED is an electronic device that delivers a shock to restore the rhythm of a fibrillating heart. When an adult experiences a heart attack that becomes a sudden cardiac arrest (sudden, abrupt loss of heart function), the heart most often goes into uncoordinated electrical activity called ventricular fibrillation. During this condition the heart twitches ineffectively and can't pump blood, and death can occur within minutes. An AED contains a microprocessor that analyzes and detects this type of heart rhythm through adhesive pads on a victim's chest, judges whether defibrillation is needed, and then recommends a shock be delivered. The shock stuns the heart muscle, which gives it the opportunity to resume beating effectively. AEDs can save lives.

How common is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)?

SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that at least 250,000 people suffer from SCA each year. The median age of victims is 65, but it can affect all ages.

Why are AEDs important in the workplace?

For every minute that passes without defibrillation of a heart in ventricular fibrillation, a victim's chance of survival decreases 7-10%, therefore, the faster the response time, the greater the victim's chance of survival. City first responders send an AED on every medical call, but given variables such as recognition of an emergency, 911 call, dispatch, traffic and travel time, it is quite conceivable that city first responders would not get an AED to a victim's side in the ideal time frame of three to five minutes. UT System Administration's AED Response Program enables trained employees to respond to a medical emergency that requires defibrillation.

AED Training

The cornerstone of the AED Response Program is training for responders who will operate an AED in the event of a medical emergency. All UT Tyler AED responders must complete the American Heart Association's Heartsave AED (AED/CPR) Program. A four-hour refresher class is required every two years to remain certified.

The Department of Environmental Health & Safety offers this training to any UT Tyler employee interested in becoming an AED responder. Our goal is to have at least three trained individuals in each building where an AED is located. If you are interested in becoming an AED responder, please contact EH&S at 903.566.7011.

Liability Issues

Texas HB 580 explicitly extends and broadens Good Samaritan protection for "citizen" AED providers, their medical director, AED manufacturers and training providers (aside from negligence, of course). As long as AED providers maintain the necessary training and the AEDs are used in accordance with our medical standing orders, we're in good shape.


Should you have any questions and/or would like additional information on UT Tyler’s AED Program, please feel free to contact EH&S at 566-7011.

For a Texas success story, please see: Airport Defibrillators Save Another (KXAN-TX36)

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