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A bill requiring the installation of electronic defibrillators in all public areas to revive people who go into cardiac arrest was approved for its second and third readings in the Knesset by the Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee on Monday.
It will go to the plenum soon. The industry, trade and labor minister must issue regulations on which types of defibrillators may be used, as well as signs informing the public of the devices' presence, within 60 days of the bill's publication in Reshumot, the listing of new laws. The law will go into effect 120 days later.
The private members' bill by MKs Stas Meseznikov (Israel Beiteinu), Arye Eldad (NU/NRP), Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Marina Solodkin (Kadima) will require the installation of defibrillators in government ministries, local authorities, airports, seaports, passenger ships, sports stadiums, fitness rooms with at least 500 members, IDF installations, old age homes, prisons, hotels with at least 250 rooms, public swimming pools, recognized beaches, colleges and universities with more than 500 students, and event and conference halls with space for over 500 people.
Each efibrillator, which costs approximately $2,000, will be the responsibility of the institution that houses it, which must ensure that the device works and show employees how to use it. It must be used within four minutes of a person's collapse, and preferably faster. The proprietor of any place required to install a defibrillator who fails to do so can be fined NIS 13,000 for the first offense and an even higher sum if the device is not installed afterward.
Defibrillators, which deliver an electric shock to the heart to get the heartbeat restarted, have saved many lives in countries abroad where they are installed in public places. They include instructions, enabling even laymen to use them. Supervision will be carried out by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.
Committee chairman MK Yitzhak Galanti (Gil Pensioners) said that passage of the bill would "put Israel in an honorable place among other developed Western nations."