All Gyms Should Have Defibrillators and Trained Staff

Kara Kennedy, the daughter of former U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, passed away on Saturday at a gym in Washington, D.C.  Although there has been no information released as to the availability of a defibrillator in this case, Deborah Kotz of the Boston Globe writes that Kennedy’s death highlights the need for such equipment.

In fact, Kotz writes that the law requires gyms to own defibrillators in Massachusetts and other states:

Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and several other states have laws requiring gyms to own a defibrillator — which cost about $1,200 on average — and to have a least one trained professional on site at all times. Since the Massachusetts law went into effect in 2007, gyms in the state have shown high compliance, said Maura Webster, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association in the Boston region. “So far, we’ve heard about six lives that have been saved from them,” she added.

The Connecticut Superior Court recently dealt with a gym’s lack of a defibrillator in the case of Aquila v. Ultimate Fitness.  In its decision denying the defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court noted that the plaintiff’s expert witness testified in his deposition that cardiac events are foreseeable and the lack of a defibrillator is a breach of the standard of care for a health club:

[The expert] stated that the failure of the defendant to have [a defibrillator] on their premises was a deviation of the standard of care applicable to private health and fitness clubs, that the occurrence of adverse cardiac events is entirely foreseeable given that those with known and unknown cardiac conditions use such facilities for the purpose of vigorous physical activity and that the failure to have [a defibrillator] and staff trained in its use was a substantial factor in the decedent’s death.

See my post Connecticut Case Shows that Health Clubs Need Defibrillators for a complete analysis of this case.

The lesson is that all gyms should have defibrillators and staff trained in their use regardless of whether required to do so by law.

Comments

  1. You would think that Automated External Defibrillator (AED) units should be readily available in any public facility – especially when the people who use the facility regularly push their bodies to the limit! Another article which highlights the life saving power of having an AED unit on hand was just released in past few days for a football player – in seventh grade!

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  4. Brestrogen Scam

    All Gyms Should Have Defibrillators and Trained Staff – CONNECTICUT SPORTS LAW

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