An interesting legal case in California has put automated external defibrillators (AEDs) back into the news. The mother and brother of a woman who died of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at a Target store in Pico Rivera, California has sued the retail giant for wrongful death because the store did not have an AED on the premises. Although EMS was quick to respond, without the immediate application of the defibrillator, the patient was lost.
A Los Angeles federal judge ruled for the Target Corporation, but the family appealed to the 9th Circuit Court, asking them to certify the question to the California Supreme Court in light of California common law. The question before the high court is this:
“In what circumstances, if ever, does the common law duty of a commercial property owner to provide emergency first aid to invitees require the availability of an AED for cases of sudden cardiac arrest?”
The ruling will have far-reaching consequences throughout California and the potential to set a precedent nationwide.
It also presents an opportunity for business owners to take a closer look at their own efforts to provide a safe environment for their customers and their employees. With the availability of reasonably priced, easy-to-use AEDs, the days of simply having a standard first aid kit with bandages and a few swabs may be past.
The statistics are chilling; each year SCA strikes approximately 340,000 people in the U.S. The majority of these people have no warning; sadly, fewer than 5% survive. With an AED and an early defibrillation program, you have the capability to increase the chances of survival for your employee, co-worker, customer, or friend.
As a sophisticated medical device, an AED might seem like an overwhelming responsibility for a business owner or manager to consider. Fortunately, everything from the initial required prescription for purchase to the routine maintenance of the unit itself to the simple training it takes to use an AED can all be handled by a robust AED program management system.
Parts of a comprehensive AED program management system include:
If your company is considering adding these life-saving devices to your facilities, please contact us for assistance in setting up your program.
Reposted from the American Safety & Health Institute blog. Read the original post here.