Standing in the checkout line at a grocery store. Trying on this season’s hottest new trend. Browsing for pet food.
Sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone. With heart disease accounting for one out of every four deaths in the US and sudden cardiac arrest occurring in more than 325,000 people every year, the likelihood that you or someone you know will experience something like this in your lifetime is larger than you would expect. To combat this growing trend, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are popping up in sports arenas, gyms, schools, and airports. However, their presence should not stop with places where scores of people congregate. There are several reasons why every retail store should be equipped with an AED as well.
Bystanders are Vital to Survival
Every minute lost before CPR is started decreases the likelihood of a person’s survival by about 10 percent. While CPR training is fairly common amongst the general public, changing guidelines and improper form diminish the likelihood of saving someone’s life by CPR alone. Fortunately, many AEDs are designed for use by people without a medical background. From pictorial instructions for placement of the electrodes to beeping when it is time to administer the electric shock, an AED is created to put vital lifesaving technology into the hands of those who could potentially save lives – bystanders in an emergency. While many people who are untrained in CPR are unwilling to attempt the process in an emergency situation, others who know that an AED will walk them through the process step-by-step may be willing to attempt to use it.
AEDs Do NOT Increase Liability
In a world where lawsuits can end a retail business before it has even begun, having a piece of medical equipment available to the public seems like litigation waiting to happen. Fortunately, the federal Cardiac Arrest Liability Law was signed into effect in 2000 limiting the liability of a person who attempts to use an AED to save the life of a victim in cardiac arrest. Since then, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have included the use of an AED in their Good Samaritan Laws. Should a bystander use an AED in your retail establishment to resuscitate a person that is incapacitated, they are protected from civil liability. If your employees are trained in the use of an AED, you too can be protected from liability at the highest level.
The Reward of Having an AED Outweighs the Risk
In the world of risk management, one must weigh potential risk with potential reward. While the risks associated with having an AED in a retail store are generally limited to theft or misuse, the potential reward for properly using this device is saving a person’s life. To those who are affected by sudden cardiac arrest, the reward is especially poignant.