According to Club Industry, a lawsuit was filed in California against 24 Hour Fitness for the wrongful death of a member who had a heart attack while playing basketball. According to the complaint, employees allegedly didn’t know where the AED was, and when it was found, it was not fully charged and unable to deliver enough of a countercharge to restart his heart.
This is an important topic, but not discussed often enough. Does your studio or gym have an AED, and is it regularly maintained and charged? Are all staff required to know how to use it? And, most importantly…does everyone know where it is?
In the US, there is no national requirement for AEDs in the workplace, but 14 states require AEDs in health clubs, including California. AEDs can be expensive (over $1000) but they can and do save lives every day. I posted about this a few weeks ago in a fitness Facebook group and several instructors described how an AED saved one of their members—including someone who had a heart attack in the middle of a Spinning class. One woman said her husband was alive today thanks to an AED!
Club Industry posted this informative article, How to Ensure that Your Club and Staff are AED-Ready. The following are the guidelines posted in that article on how to create a formal safety program:
AEDs should be used as part of a formal safety program that ensures proper use and follow-up. Key elements of a program for fitness facilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Develop a written AED program.
- Designate an on-site coordinator.
- Expected AED users should maintain current CPR certifications.
- Expected AED users should complete a four-hour course on the device.
- All staff are informed of the location of the AED units in the facility.
- Post the list of AED-trained staff with each unit.
- Each AED should be maintained and tested regularly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Document all elements of the safety program, including training, regular testing, and maintenance of the AED units.
Hopefully, if your club or studio doesn’t have one, this information will inspire your management to take the steps to install an AED at your facility.
Does your club have an AED? Are you certified? Have there ever been any incidents at your facility? Let us know in the comments below.
Our clubs do have AEDs and we are all trained to use them and know where they are in each club. Our club mandates CPR and AED training in order to be an employee and they offer free certifications to us. Luckily we have not had any major incidents (fee minor ones) but as an instructor I feel confident in knowing how I and my coworkers will react in an emergency when it presents itself. I will share this with our directors, who do a great job!