Sudden cardiac arrest is considered to be among the leading causes of death in the Unites States alone, with more than 350,000 deaths every year. According to a new report "[s]udden cardiac arrest survival greater at fitness facilities," people who experience sudden cardiac arrest at "traditional" exercise facility’s (like health clubs) have greater chances of survival rate than any other alternative exercise type of venue, simply because of the equipment and resources were more readily available to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) method and use automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in order to gain back the normal heart rate of the victim.
The same report also found that the "survival rate" of people after sudden cardiac arrest were highest at "traditional" exercise centers (56%), followed by alternative exercise facility (45%) and other public places (34%). These facts alone should highly encourage fitness owners to place AEDs in their fitness facilities and include AED/CPR training programs to both their staff and members. Fitness centers can continue to save more even more lives if they proactively implement continued awareness campaigns and training programs.
I know that having an easy, visible, and known access to AED devices and CPR training for everyone in your health club is extremely important! In 2012, my wife’s father had a massive heart attack at his fitness center, but thanks to that fitness center’s resources, his life was saved. Of course, sudden cardiac arrest is deadly as it can happen to anyone, anytime and at any location. But unless you are lucky enough to be at a hospital or have a nurse/doctor around, AED units and CPR procedures are probably two of the best handy tools and techniques that anyone can use to effectively treat someone from sudden cardiac arrest, without having any medical background of their own.
#1 CPR & AED – What are they?
An AED is a portable device that contains built-in microprocessors to measure a person’s heart rhythm, assess if defibrillation is needed, and then gives an acceptable level of electric shock to bring back the normal heart rhythm, especially during sudden cardiac arrest.
While AED’s primary function is to ultimately establish an effective heart rhythm, CPR‘s primary purpose is to preserve brain function via blood flow and oxygen intake for those who are under cardiac arrest. CPR is performed by mouth-to-mouth respiration and chest compression
#2 CPR & AED – Why It’s Important?
According to American Red Cross, the use of CPR/AEDs can save over 50,000 lives every year. During sudden cardiac arrest, the victim’s chances of survival decreases by 10% after each minute passes if they aren’t administered proper level of defibrillation. There is no excuse not to have an AED in you fitness center. AEDs are excellent device to bring back the heart rhythm of a person suffering from cardiac arrest, and are very "user-friendly" hat anyone can operate to respond to these critical medical situations.
#3 CPR & AED – Training & Awareness.
Require your ALL your staff to get CPR certified and to stay current on their certification! The best way is to hire an instructor for the day to deliver a training session to all your staff, all at once. That way they can practice together and devise a plan together on how to handle life and death scenarios. Do not forget to trickle in refresher courses or drills throughout the year so your staff can learn how to think on their feet and better prepare for a panicked situation.
A way to show your members that you care about their lives is to offer a workshops every couple of months and include both CPR training and AED practice as well as nutritional information for having and maintaining a healthy heart. For those members who are not interested in attending a workshop, another way to deliver the AEDs and CPR awareness is to create instructional videos of where the AED is located in your fitness facility, how it to use it, and who is CPR certified on staff. Post these videos on your gym website and social media outlets. Another way, is to physically hand out instructional DVDs to your new members in their “welcome tote bag” or during the new client orientation.
#4 CPR & AED – How often?
Critical life saving skills such as AED/CPR courses must be delivered often, probably once every six month. More importantly, the staff on the duty, especially fitness instructors, must always be ready to respond to any type of emergency situations such as cardiac arrest. Hence, they may need refresher training course more than once every six months. As a gym club owner/instructor, you it will benefit you, your club, staff, and members to stay educated on any new policies, procedures, and techniques of these life saving tools!
Over to you…
We would like to hear your thoughts on how you conduct and use AED/CPR training at your local gym club? Please comment below!
Jean W. Morin
It is really imporant to learn CPR skills. It is going to be beneficial not only to the person taking the course but also to his or her loved ones and the people that he or she may help along the way. Accidents and emergencies do happen no matter how we avoid them and the best way to face them is to be prepared. It’s also important to take refresher course on CPR because when we don’t get to practice what we learn, there is a tendency that we will forget everything.
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