Sports Law • Risk Management

Saving Lives with AED's

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) are becoming more commonplace. If you pay attention in many public places, you will see them encased in glass mounted on walls. Most people haven’t seen them in action, but are comforted knowing that they are more often available to rescue heart attack victims.

A few days ago, a 61 year old male hiker on Kauai suffered a heart attack and was fortunate to be rescued by lifeguards after calling for help. They were equipped with an AED and so the man was given life saving treatment and was transported to a local hospital in fair condition.

It is not only older athletes that benefit from AED’s. A few years ago, 16 year old Jonathan Moore was practicing football with his high school team when he suffered from ventricular fibrillation and passed out on the field. Two trainers responded with CPR and then used an AED that they are required by law to have on the premises. The AED saved Moore’s life. Although his dreams of playing in the NFL are over, he is very fortunate that an AED was available. Moore’s situation was unforeseeable as a pre-season physical concluded that he was healthy.

One never knows when an AED’s availability will save a life. Certainly, there are places and venues where they are legally mandated. If an organization has a choice as to whether to provide an AED on their premises, it seems reasonable to do so. The life that it saves may be your own.