We’ve published several stories over the years about fitness club members whose lives were saved by quick-thinking staff members who used an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the club. Those stories never lose their appeal or their relevance.
The most recent AED save that we reported occurred at a Midtown Athletic Club in Illinois. Prior to that story being published, two lives were saved in two days at a Seattle-area 24 Hour Fitness. Here’s a great follow-up story about those two 24 Hour members thanking the staff for saving their lives.
Another AED save occurred earlier this year at a Charter Fitness in Illinois. Last year, we told you about an Illinois personal trainer who saved two lives in two years using an AED. (I’m not sure why all these AED save stories originate in Illinois.)
The latest AED save I came across occurred earlier this month at a Fitness Express club in Anderson, CA. I have never heard of Fitness Express, nor have I heard of Anderson, CA, but that does not diminish the importance of this story.
You may have read our Step by Step column earlier this year on the legal obligations of health clubs to maintain and use AEDs. If you have not read it already, I highly recommend it.
David Herbert, an attorney from Ohio, keeps close tabs on issues related to AEDs in health clubs. Last month, Herbert conducted a session on fitness facility industry standards at the Athletic Business Conference and Expo in New Orleans. Herbert, who also has spoken at our show and many others in years past, asked for a show of hands of how many attendees had an AED in their facility. Almost everybody raised their hands. Ten years ago, Herbert said, only one or two people raised their hands.
As these stories can attest, a greater awareness of the importance and use of AEDs in fitness facilities has translated into saving lives.