A recent report from Ottawa, Canada revealed that just in the month of January, three people had suffered cardiac arrest while working out at the gym. In the first week, a 32-year-old man collapsed while exercising. The very next day, paramedics were called again for a 60-year-old man that had collapsed. By the time the paramedics had arrived, the fitness center’s trained staff had performed CPR and delivered two shocks from an on-site automated external defibrillator (AED). Then, two weeks later, yet another man, 71-years-old, had a cardiac arrest while using a treadmill. Fortunately, this gym also had an AED and trained facility staff and was able to save his life.
Most people typically think of a gym as a place good for the heart. And it is. Any cardio-type workout is intended to work the heart muscle by increasing the body’s demand for oxygen which in turn makes the heart work harder. But the counter to that is making the heart work harder has the possibility of triggering any underlying heart conditions, which can lead to cardiac arrest. This makes gyms a very high-risk place for people with such conditions.
Now, calling gyms a high-risk place for cardiac arrest does not mean people should avoid them. In fact, just the opposite… Well, that is if the gym is prepared to handle a case of cardiac arrest. Being prepared entails – having at least one AED that is regularly maintained, and then having a staff that is certified to perform CPR and trained to use the AED. The people that suffered cardiac arrest in Ottawa this month were fortunate to have suffered it at fitness centers where those precautions were taken. As a result, all of those people are still alive.
A scary amount of people go through their daily routine with an unnoticed heart condition. Many heart conditions that can lead to cardiac arrest are only detected through EKG testing and sometimes not even that. Regular exercise will always be one of the most effective ways of staying healthy especially at an older age. But, as mentioned before, exercise can be that trigger for a heart condition. What that means for people who want regular exercise with peace of mind, is to work out at a gym that cares to give their customers that. Although people should always be monitoring their heart, gyms should be a haven whereas people decide to try and run that extra half mile on the treadmill and while their heart is racing, they can look up and see an AED on the wall and know they are in a safe place to push a little harder.
To make it easier to implement an AED into your facility, AED.com has created Fitness Center AED Packages. The packages include everything you need to save a life during a cardiac arrest emergency.