Title: Use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in managing risk and liability in health/fitness facilities

Authors: Betul Sekendiz, Shayne Quick

Addresses: Health Sciences and Medicine Faculty, Bond University, University Drive, Gold Coast, 4229, Australia. ' Health Sciences and Medicine Faculty, Bond University, University Drive, Gold Coast, 4229, Australia

Abstract: Health/fitness facilities are considered higher risk sites for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), however, no legislation or industry standards in Australia mandate the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). In this light, the purpose of this study was three-pronged. The main purpose of the study was to outline the health/fitness industry standards in the USA in relation to the use of AEDs. The second purpose was to demonstrate the possible consequences of a failure to meet the industry standards requiring the use of AEDs. The third purpose was to show the possible impact of Good Samaritan type legislation in Australia as supporting the deployment of AEDs in the local industry without fear of legal liability. The conclusions of this paper suggest that standard setting organisations in the fitness industry and the local governments should work in collaboration to increase awareness about the life-saving benefits of AEDs and the immunity protection granted by Good Samaritan laws that can have a positive impact on the wide spread use of AEDs in health/fitness facilities.

Keywords: automated external defibrillators; AED; case law; Good Samaritan legislation; health facilities; fitness facilities; legal liability; risk management; standard of care; negligence; duty of care; health and fitness; sudden cardiac arrest; heart attacks; Australia; industry standards; USA; United States; fitness industry; immunity protection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2011.041570

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2011 Vol.9 No.3/4, pp.170 - 184

Available online: 26 Jul 2011 *

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