According to state law in New York, health clubs are required to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs), but they are not required to use them. But at the Midtown Athletic Club in Rochester, one man is certainly grateful there were people that did.
Last week there was a man working out on a treadmill, when people saw him collapse mid-run. Both employees and members at the gym realized the man was having a cardiac arrest and knew what to do. Some began chest compressions, while others grabbed a LifePak 500 AED and attached the unit to give the man necessary shocks. They continued until emergency responders arrived and brought the man to the hospital.
Bob McKernan, the club manager, said in an interview with the Rochester local news that they were the first health club in the area to get an AED. They have three devices on the gym floor including the Lifepak that had just saved a man’s life. McKernan said that he realizes cardiac arrest can happen to anybody and although New York State does not require him or other employees to use an AED, every employee is still trained on how to respond and use one anyways. He also said he doesn’t understand why they would never use a piece of equipment that had the ability to save a person life.
The man who suffered the cardiac arrest was also fortunate that there was a doctor at the gym at the same time. Dr. Joan Thomas was one of the people that helped use the AED. She believed the AED was crucial in the life-saving process because sometimes just performing CPR isn’t enough. She said that in this case she definitely thinks the defibrillator made the difference. For defibrillation to happen in time there has to be AEDs that are easily accessible and people who are ready to use them. The Midtown Athletic Club had both.
Although the man that suffered from cardiac arrest was elderly, he did not let his age get in the way of being fit and was a regular at the gym. Thanks to the efforts of all the people who acted quick and used an AED, the man is recovering at the hospital and may soon be able to return to the Midtown Atlantic Club. At least he can be assured that it is a heartsafe place to work out.