The Life Saving Power of AED

Why doesn’t every hotel and restaurant have an AED in them?

About 167,000 Americans will suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, outside of medical facilities this year. More than 20 percent of those heart attacks will occur in public places, like airports, hotels, and restaurants.

AEDs or Automated External Defibrillators are portable automatic devices used to restore normal heart rhythm to patients in cardiac arrest. An AED is used on the outside of the body, and automatically analyzes a person’s heart rhythm, advises the rescuer what to do, and administers a shock to restore a normal heart beat if needed. Today, AEDs generally cost less than $2,000.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation with an AED more than doubles a heart attack victim’s chances of survival. For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by as much as 10 percent. Waiting just 5 minutes for paramedics to arrive on site, instead of using an AED, can reduce a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival by as much as 50 percent.

Even so, many hotels, restaurants, fitness centers and other public places have no AEDs available. The major problem isn’t cost, its legal concern’s. Some restaurants have serious legal concerns about liability and the lack of a strong national law protecting individuals from liability concerns. As for legal concerns, the GOOD SAMARITAN ACT which was signed into law in 2000 now protects anyone administering CPR or use of an AED in a public situation rendering aid to a victim. This law has been put in place to insure that no legal action can be brought against the person rendering aid. Also as an added benefit, insurance carriers (depending on the carrier) may sometimes grant a discount on liability insurance if an AED is located in their eating establishment.

CHAPTER 9. Liability Limitation [1799.100 – 1799.112]

  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1260. )


  1799.102.  

(a) No person who in good faith, and not for compensation that renders emergency medical or nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission. (b) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage other individuals to volunteer, without compensation, to assist others in need during an emergency, while ensuring that those volunteers who provide care or assistance act responsibly.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 77, Sec. 1. Effective August 6, 2009. Note: As referenced in subd. (d), subds. (b) and (c) were added in the amendment by Stats. 2009, Ch. 77.)


Heart Attack Warning Signs


Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

 

• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

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