AHA And ACSM Call For Defibrillators in US Health/fitness Clubs

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 05 – In a joint statement, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend that all health and fitness clubs have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available in their facilities.
The recommendations appear in the March 5th issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. This new report is a supplement to the 1998 recommendations, which advised fitness centers to screen clients for cardiovascular disease, train staff in CPR, have written emergency policies and conduct regular drills.

"The good news is that if people are fit and they keep exercising, they decrease their risk of suffering a cardiovascular event," coauthor, Dr. Gary J. Balady from the Boston University School of Medicine said in a journal statement.

"The bad news is that we have many people visiting fitness centers with undiagnosed coronary heart disease. Overall the risk is low, but it's important that health and fitness centers are prepared in case of emergency. In the chain of survival, every minute counts," he continued.

As a first step, the AHA/ACSM report encourages operators of health and fitness facilities with 2500 members or more, and facilities that have special programs for the elderly or individuals with medical conditions, to have AEDs available. AEDs should also be placed in facilities where EMS response takes more than 5 minutes and in unsupervised exercise rooms in hotels, apartment buildings or office buildings, they add. …

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