Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
The number one killer in America is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA),
which kills more than 400,000 people each year. It can strike
anyone, anywhere, at any time, and in most cases, without warning.
Without treatment, victims have only minutes to live. With quick
response, this condition is readily treatable with survival rates
well over 50 percent. Unfortunately, most of the time, the
necessary life-saving equipment does not arrive in time. As a
result, typical survival rates are only 2 percent to 5 percent.
The goal of fitness facilities is to help improve health and
fitness among the population, but to do so, health club members
intentionally push their bodies to the limits of physical exertion
on a regular basis. Because cardiac arrest rarely displays any
warning signs and affects all ages and levels of fitness, no one is
truly 100 percent safe from this incredible danger.
SCA is caused by chaotic electrical activity in the heart and
can only be treated with an electric shock called defibrillation.
Recent advances in modern technology, along with legislative
support from federal and state governments, have made a solution
available to the public. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
are this life-saving solution. With a
well-trained staff, fitness facilities with AEDs can respond
extremely quickly to cases of SCA. Cost for AEDs usually run
between $1,200 to $1,500 per unit. Training can be obtained through
the American Heart Association.
California recently passed State Bill SB 127 (section 104113),
which requires indoor physical fitness facilities to have at least
one automated external defibrillator (AED) on the facility premises
and to have a trained AED user on staff. Thirteen other states
currently have AED legislation or pending legislation in place that
requires AEDs to be placed inside physical fitness facilities.
You may be asking whether you or your facility can get in
trouble for not having an AED on the premises. Even in states that
require that health clubs have AEDs, the likelihood that the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration will come into your
facility and check for an AED is small. However, the danger occurs
if a member of the club has a medical emergency, paramedics are
called but do not arrive in time, and the member does not survive.
In that case, liability costs to the club owner
could be monumental.
The advantages of having an AED in your facility are that
1. Can lower your insurance premiums2. Protects your employees, members and
guests3. Protects your health club concerning liability
issues4. Is simple and easy to use5. Is cost-effective for tight budgets6. Has a low life-cycle cost of ownership7. Is low maintenance8. Is light, compact and self-contained for easy storage
and deployment9. Is durable and reliable
All you need to do to build an AED program in your club is to
purchase an AED that meets your facility’s needs and
requirements. Then, train your employees in CPR and AED use. By
having an AED, your club can lead the charge with the best defense
against the life-threatening condition of SCA.
Scott Lehnkering is president of A Hero for Life. He
can be contacted at 949-481-2578begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 949-481-2578 end_of_the_skype_highlighting,
or by email email@example.com