Phil Kaplan on AED's
External Defibrillators are saving lives, and the professional
fitness facility in the 21st Century maintains a staff well
trained in emergency procedures including the use of an AED.
Fitness professionals, while they
have long understood the value of an AED, have found them
cost prohibitive. The good news is, they're becoming so affordable
there are very few excuses to preclude fitness facility owners
from making an AED an absolute. I'll address a few of the
common excuses here, and urge everyone connected with a fitness
facility to take measures to ensure that the owner wisely
invests in the safety of the members.
Beyond the price issue, according
to Dr. Anthony Abbott, founder of Fitness Institute, one of
the more common objections often prohibiting health club owners
from making the investment is based on the mistaken assumption
that owning an AED will increase liability. Club owners return
to the theory, "this is a medical device, and if I pretend
to have medical expertise I'm at risk." The theory is
unfounded and without merit. Best Review, a the leading insurance
trade publication, has stated that not having an AED puts
you at greater risk than having an AED.
Can You Use an
is a fear factor present as an AED is still linked with those
defib devices we see in hospitals and on medical emergency
shows on TV. The doctor yells, "Clear" and the body
on the white sheet jumps into the air. The nurses then turn
to the computer screen to await evidence of a heartbeat.
You don't have to have any actual
medical expertise to use an AED and save someone's life. In
fact, the American Heart Association's journal Circulation
(1999; 100; 1703-1707) reported a "Comparison of Na´ve Sixth-Grade
Children with Trained Professionals in the Use of an Automated
In this study, sixth graders who
had no prior training in AED use, were taught to follow instruction
and push the on button. They compared the speed and efficiency
of the sixth graders with that of experienced paramedics.
There was only a 30-second difference between the two groups
in their ability to deliver a life saving shock.
IHRSA is now recommending AED's
for all health clubs.
ACE has teamed up with the American
Heart Association to offer an 8-hour Heartsaver
First Aid with CPR and AED training course.
As these agencies and others begin
to actively promote the life-saving value of these devices,
it's only a matter of time before they become mandatory in
Want to find more info on AEDs?
I am not an expert in this area, simply the messenger. I defer
to Dr. Abbott who has written extensively on the subject.
His article Code Blue - Member Down in the November 2000 issue
of Personal Fitness Professional is a "must read."
Find information on Dr. Abbott and Fitness Institute's Trainer
courses at http://www.fit-cpts.com/
You can also look into getting
a unit. Philips medical distributes the AED units that have
received the highest classification by the American Heart
Association. You can visit their website, www.medical.philips.com
here for their product catalog.
Note: I received an email from
Tagni McRae, the Communications Manager for the American Heart
Association on July 6, 2004. She clarified a statement I made
above. Here's an excerpt from her email:
to clarify--the American Heart Association does not "classify"
AED devices (see quote below from your article). We recommend
the use of automated external defibrillators within five
minutes or less and recommend that certain locations implement
AED programs if the risk of VF cardiac arrest is high and
EMS cannot make it within that timeframe. The FDA regulates
AEDs and defines them as devices that require a medical
Also get details on the Lifeline
by Defibtech which is the most affordable unit I've found.
It retails for $1500, but is now available for $1,295. Visit
Defibtech's site at http://m3-medical.com
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