This article discusses the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in sport, fitness and recreational facilities and examines the framework around which relevant forensic investigations are conducted.
Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) provide a course of action for individuals and organizations when faced with calamity. In the fitness industry, a well-developed and executed EAP can be the difference between life and death for participants who are seriously injured or suffer other acute health conditions. The scope of EAPs will vary somewhat across facilities to address the potential emergency situations specific to each location, but the inclusion of an Automated External Defibrillator should be part of the EAP for every fitness facility.
In the sport, fitness and recreation industry, it is not uncommon for people to be injured and even collapse during exercise. While the incidence of heart attack is higher in older age groups, the Mayo Clinic notes that when younger populations suffer heart attacks, they mostly commonly occur during physical activity, such as participating in a sporting event.
All sport and fitness facilities should properly train their staff in CPR and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). However, training alone does not suffice; drills for emergency readiness must be rehearsed. Additionally, it is important that proper signage is conspicuously posted, demonstrating how to administer CPR and the location of the AED.
Emergency management provides coaches, trainers, and other related personnel with the essential information they need to properly respond in the event of injury or emergency. As a coach and personal trainer, knowing how to assess and handle an emergency situation is critical; proper emergency response will increase the chance of survival. The Emergency Action Plan is a necessary component for personnel to understand their role in the event that an athlete or client is injured. All personnel should be prepared to react to an injury, know to file an incident report, and always document any extenuating circumstances.
Preparedness can make the difference between life and death. An EAP defines the standard of care for the management of emergencies in sports and fitness facilities and allows all personnel to understand their role when an emergency arises.
The experts at Robson Forensic are frequently retained to conduct investigations when individuals are injured at health clubs and fitness facilities. The scope of our investigations will typically include an analysis of how the incident happened, the condition of the equipment and environment in which it occurred, and the way the facility managed the emergency situation.
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