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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 08, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
(609) 984-7160

DHSS Proposes Amendment and New Rule in Standards for Licensure of Long Term Care Facilities


TRENTON -- The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is proposing to amend the Standards for Licensure of Long Term Care Facilities (N.J.A.C. 8:39) and adopt a new rule within the standards.  The purpose is to implement a law requiring long-term care facilities to maintain a defibrillator in a central location in the facility and ensure staff is trained in its use.

Because of the new statutory requirement at N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.26, the department is proposing a new rule that states that long-term care facilities must acquire and maintain a defibrillator, make it available to trained direct-care staff, and develop a written protocol on testing and maintaining the defibrillator and training direct-care staff members in its use. In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, a defibrillator is used to help restore a patient’s normal heart rhythm. 

The proposed new rule further addresses the training requirement by requiring a long-term care facility to arrange and pay for training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of the defibrillator for enough direct-care staff to ensure that at least one such staff person from each shift holds a current certification from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other training program approved by the Department.

The proposed new rule would also require the facility to notify the appropriate first aid, ambulance or rescue squad or other emergency medical services provider of the type of defibrillator and its location.

A proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 8:39-1.2 would add to the chapter a definition for the term “defibrillator,” which would be consistent with an existing definition at N.J.S.A. 2A:62A-24.

The proposal appears in the June 6, 2005 issue of the New Jersey Register.  The public has until August 5, 2005 to comment on the proposal.  Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit their comments in writing to Barbara Goldman, Director, Licensing and Certification Program, P.O. Box 367, Trenton, New Jersey 08626-0367.  Written comments must be postmarked on or before August 5, 2005, which is the close of the 60-day public comment period.

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