Strenuous physical exercise, the kind that happens at gyms and health clubs, is associated with an increased risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). In fact, compared to others with a similar age and risk profile, athletes and active individuals are estimated to be 3 times more likely to suffer SCA.
Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs involve the placement of AED machines in easily and publicly accessible places to protect the community from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Given the risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest among athletes, PAD programs emphasize the placement and availability of AEDs at athletics fields and exercise facilities.
In the United States, some states have created legislation guiding – and mandating – that athletic venues make AED units available to their patrons. State laws also have recommendations or requirements that athletic facilities train all their staff in CPR and AED use.
15 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory requirements for AED placement in health clubs and gyms. The following states have comprehensive laws or recommendations on AED placement in gyms and health clubs.
Arkansas (Arkansas AED Law – House Bill 1970): every gym, health club or fitness center is required to have at least one AED on site. Also, there must be an employee who has completed a course in operation of AEDs and CPR.
California (California Health and Safety Code, Section 104113): as of July 2007, California requires all gyms and health clubs to have at least one AED. The law also required the training of one staffer per AED in CPR and AED use. If the establishment has more than 5 AEDs, one person per every 5 extra AEDs must be trained.
Connecticut (S.B. No. 1083): Effective October 1, 2022, all health clubs throughout Connecticut are required to have at least one AED on-premises. The new law also imposes training, maintenance, and EMS notification requirements on health clubs.
District of Columbia (B16-0043): health clubs are among the premises that must have at least one AED at all times. In addition, they must train a designated user in AED use and CPR, and have certification from the AHA, Red Cross or other relevant organization.
Illinois (Public Health (410 ILCS 4/) Automated External Defibrillator Act): every fitness facility is required to have one or more AEDs on their premises. The establishment should also have one trained AED user staffed during business hours.
Indiana (IC 24-4-15 Chapter 15): every health club must have an AED in their facilities and it must be easily available to staff and members. The facility must also employ at least one person, during business operating hours, who is trained in CPR and AED use to a standard that is satisfactory with national guidelines.
Iowa (SB 443): all physical exercise clubs including gyms must place at least one AED on their premises and it must be accessible to all people present during business hours. The facility must also have at least one employee who is trained in CPR and AED use.
Louisiana (LA Revised Statutes Section 40:1236.13): the owner of every gym/ fitness facility will maintain a well serviced and registered AED on the premises. The law, however, does not specify any guidelines regarding the presence of a trained lay responder.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts General Laws § 12V ½): all health clubs must have at least one AED on their premises. The law also requires that at least one employee or volunteer must be trained in AED use, and present at the gym during business hours
Michigan (Michigan Compiled Laws Section 333.26312): the proprietor of every health club is mandated to avail at least one AED on the premises, placed in a convenient and accessible location for every person on the premises. Additionally, the facility must employ at least one person who is certified in basic first aid, CPR and AED use.
New Jersey (New Jersey Statutes Section 2A:62A-33): all gyms and health clubs must have at least one AED on their premises. The AED must be registered with emergency services and maintained on a regular basis. During business hours, at least one staffer trained in CPR and AED use must be present.
New York (New York General Business Law Section 627-a): every gym or health club with more than 500 members must have at least one AED on their premises. In addition, at least one employee or volunteer who holds a valid certification in CPR and AED use must be present during business hours.
Nevada (Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 450B.620): AEDs are recommended but not legally required for health clubs. For facilities with an AED the device must be inspected and maintained regularly and any employee who will use the defibrillator must complete training in basic emergency care.
Oregon: health clubs and gyms must have at least one AED on their premises at all times. There is no stipulation on training of employees on using the AED or CPR.
Pennsylvania (PA House Bill 1525): all health clubs that have services during non-staffed hours must be equipped with an AED, along with an array of other emergency equipment. During operation hours, there must be an employee with standard training in CPR.
Rhode Island (Rhode Island General Laws Section 5-50-12): every registered health club must have an AED located centrally and conveniently for all members, staff and guests. During each shift, there must be one or more employees with AHA certifications in CPR and AED use.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere. The states listed above are proactively addressing the fact that athletes, gym-goers, and other active people are at risk of SCA by requiring AED placement in fitness venues. For states without these laws, having a nearby and accessible AED machine is equally necessary to protect your patrons and staff.
Looking for an AED for your gym, athletic club, or sports team? Look no further! Check out the guide for finding Best Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for Gyms and Sports using the link below.
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