Health Clubs with 500+ Members Must Have AED
Health clubs with 500 or more members must have an Automated External Defibrillator (“AED”) on the premises pursuant to the General Business Law and the Public Health Law. An AED is a portable medical device for delivery of an electroshock to restart normal heart rhythm.
In addition, health clubs with 500 or more members must have at least one individual with training in AEDs and CPR on the premises during business hours. It should be noted that any individual who uses the AED will have limited liability through what is commonly known as the Good Samaritan Law. The Good Samaritan Law provides that any person who voluntarily, and without the expectation of compensation, renders aid will not be liable for damages unless the injuries were caused by gross negligence.
Unbelievably, the Courts are currently divided as to whether the person trained to use the AED has an affirmative duty to actually use the life saving device on a person having a heart attack. Certainly, the law was meant to ensure a higher level of safety for people who belong to health clubs. It is undisputed that the likelihood of cardiac arrest increases in health clubs where people engage in physical exertion and that there is a decrease in fatality rate with the immediate use of an AED and CPR. However, the presence of an AED will be of no benefit unless it is actually used.