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New Zealand facilities take a lead on defibrillators

New Zealand facilities take a lead on defibrillators
September 10, 2013

A recent donation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to each of Auckland Council's 11 aquatic centres has raised the issue of whether all aquatic facilities in New Zealand should have an AED on site.

The donation to Auckland Council, worth around $27,500, was made by an Auckland businessman who wished to remain anonymous. It means that from the largest aquatic facility to a small seasonal paddling pool, each of the Council's aquatic facilities will now have a defibrillators on-site.

Following the donation, the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) is considering recommending for all New Zealand aquatic facilities to have AEDs on site a matter debated at its recent JAWS seminar.

In the USA, where in some States health clubs are required to equip AEDs by law, recently released research shows that sufferers of cardiac arrests at fitness facilities have a higher chance of survival than at other indoor locations.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology observed the frequency, treatment and outcomes of sudden cardiac arrests at both traditional and alternative exercise facilities.

Data was provided from 849 sudden cardiac arrests that occurred in such facilities in Seattle and King County, Washington between 1996 and 2008 with locations categorised as being traditional (health clubs and fitness centres) or alternative exercise facilities (bowling alleys, workplace or hotel gyms, dance studios) and non-exercise facilities (banks, retail centres, restaurants).

 

Of the 849 cardiac arrests, 52 occurred at traditional facilities, 84 at alternative centres and 713 at non-exercise facilities. Survival rates showed that 56% of people were likely to survive at traditional fitness facilities, whereas those who suffered sudden cardiac arrests at non-traditional or non-exercise facilities faced 45 and 34% chances of survival respectively.

Dr. Richard Page, the study's lead author and chair of the department of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, explained "our findings should encourage broader implementation of and adherence to recommendations for AED placement and sudden cardiac arrest response protocols at traditional exercise facilities.

"In addition, these standards should be extended to alternative fitness facilities, where sudden cardiac arrest incidence is comparable to that seen at traditional exercise facilities."

AEDs are portable devices that send electronic shocks to a heart in cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating.

Approximately 300,000 people in the USA go into cardiac arrest every year and about 90% of those die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Quick use of an AED, however, can increase a person's chance of survival.

In 2002, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association encouraged all health and fitness facilities to have AEDs available, because the risk of cardiac arrest increases during and immediately after physical activity among those who don't regularly exercise.

22nd June 2012 - PERTH LAUNCH TO PREVENT SPORTING TRAGEDIES


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