The availability of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) has grown over the years. They can be found in most larger companies, malls, public places, gyms and spas, and a growing number of schools. The push to require AEDs in the state of Illinois is due in part to the Colleen O’Sullivan Law which came about after the death of Colleen O’Sullivan, who died after suffering sudden cardiac arrest while working out at the gym. This heart-felt article is written by her cousin and best friend, and tells the story of how gym staff and members stood around and waited for assistance to arrive instead of performing CPR or using an AED, if one was even available.
This story is quite sad, since if the gym staff or members would have performed CPR and used an AED, if available, Colleen’s life may have been spared or at least she would have been given a chance at survival. Since the passing of this law, many other states have implemented requirements on AED availability and CPR/AED certification. As we teach, Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, regardless of age or physical conditioning. It is important that AEDs are available to shock the heart back to its normal rhythm and that personnel and bystanders are properly trained to administer treatment when called upon.
For a small cost and small time commitment, usually 2.5 to 4 hours, you can have the training necessary to give another person a chance at survival. Think if that person was a loved one or someone that you work with everyday, wouldn’t you want to be able to give them that gift? What if you are that person who needs it, wouldn’t you want others around you to be trained to come to your assistance and give you that gift? Make the decision to get trained today and get others around you to commit to becoming certified too. Let’s all make the decision to have a positive impact on someone else’s life.