Several life-saving resuscitation episodes have recently played out at health clubs across the country—a reminder to ensure your health club staff is trained in CPR for the new year.
Approximately 90 percent of personal trainers are expected to have CPR and first aid training, according to IHRSA's 2018 U.S. Fitness Professional Outlook report.
More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year, and 90 percent of Americans who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die. However, the American Heart Association estimates that properly administered CPR can triple a person's odds of survival.
Episode No. 1: LA Fitness, Allen Park, Michigan
On Dec. 1, an off-duty nurse saved a man's life at an LA Fitness club in Allen Park, Michigan, after he collapsed from a heart attack while exercising. Another club member attempted CPR on the man with no success, after which nurse Amal Hammoud called for a nearby automated external defibrillator (AED). “Within a few seconds, he started to breathe again, and his heart was beating," Amal told ABC 7. "It worked, and the ambulance got there quickly."
Episode No. 2: Merrimack Valley YMCA, Andover, Massachusetts
In early December, Stacie Logan, 29, was running on a treadmill at the Merrimack Valley YMCA in Andover when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest and fell to the floor. She told WSB-TV 2 that she hit her head during the fall and was unconscious for six minutes while Y staff twice administered an AED. Logan, who has finished six marathons in her life, spent a week in the hospital undergoing surgeries to install a pacemaker and a defibrillator in her chest.
Episode No. 3: Snap Fitness, Medora, Indiana
This fall, Ed Chambers, 68, was running and lifting at his Snap Fitness club in Medora, Indiana, when he blacked out. Another club member, Aaron Wilkins, thought Chambers had tripped and fallen, according to a report by the Seymour Tribune. When Chambers didn't respond, Wilkins called 911 and administered an AED. Chambers survived but required surgery and weeks of rehab. In mid-December 2018, the American Heart Association presented Wilkins with the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Heartsaver Award, and the American Red Cross presented him with the Extraordinary Personal Action award.
Many more episodes like these have likely played out in other health clubs during the year, but recapping the success of resuscitation efforts is a reminder that keeping your staff trained and ensuring you have an AED in your club is worth the effort. Not only could it save the life of a member, but it is much better for your club to be able to recount a story of a successful save than to live with the memory of not being able to save a member due to lack of training or no AED being on hand.