Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do You Have an AED Where You Work?

In case you are not in the know, NHL hockey player Rich Peverly is done for the rest of the season after collapsing on the bench during a game earlier this week.  According to the Associated Press, his heart rate rapidly increased and then stoppedaltogether, luckily the medical staff at the arena was able to get his heart started again.  There are rumors, but not confirmed by me, that Peverly wanted to return to the game.  

However, this post is not about the toughness of NHL players, because that can’t really be disputed.  What it’s about is the importance of AED machines and their availability to everyone.

According to a blog entry at, the automatic external defibrillator, or AED, machine that was deployed by the Dallas Stars medical staff likely saved the life of Mr. Peverly, and the machines could have even saved the lives of thousands of people across the US and Canada.  The thing is, how many places have this equipment and how many locations have staff trained in their use?

I’m not talking about professional athletic events.  It’s no secret that pro athletes have access to some of the most gifted and best doctors money can buy.  No, it’s about taking a trip to McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, the grocery store, heck even the gas station.  There should be one in every school and workplace across the globe, and there should be someone trained it its use in those locations, because they save lives.

Sure, if medical personnel are present at an event, like they are at just about every athletic event related to a school, the kids are probably well protected.  But what about at practice? 

A basic AED runs about $1200 at Amazon, and weighed against the cost of losing a life that’s a pretty small investment for any company when talking about the safety of workers and customers.  Ask Rich Peverly how he feels about the device.

So ask your employer, your teacher, your neighbor, or anywhere that you regularly frequent, and inquire about the availability of an AED and the presence of a qualified operator.  Hopefully, you never need one and hopefully you never have to use one, but the one time you do that $1200 will be money well spent.

Authors note:  I lost my father to a heart related incident at a famous and large retailer, sadly if an AED had been present, I would be talking to him about Rich Peverly and not you.

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