"Hotels worry that if they have the (Automatic External Defibrillator) devices, which cost about $1,200 to $2,000 each, they could be sued for failing to have enough units, failing to put them in the right places, or failing to replace batteries or maintain them properly.Batteries? Make sure your guests in medical distress are treated by trained personnel? Really? Are you serious? How about "we want to make sure guests in medical distress get treated as soon as possible to improve their chance of survival." Wouldn't that sound better in a national PR release?
Another concern: hotel worker training. "Our goal is to make sure guests in medical distress are treated by trained personnel, such as EMTs or paramedics," says a spokesman for Marriott.
But alas, legal liability issues have raised their ugly head once more. The recent the ruling in California that parsed the Good Samaritan law based on a definition of what it means to "rescue" a fellow human being has sent negative reverberations across our country. Certainly, there are plenty of barriers to entry with AEDs, but this is one doctor who remains convinced that these devices are more than worth the risks, hassles and expense.
We have them in our schools here. YES, they have been used and YES they did work. Would the teacher have survived without it, we will never know, but I am sure he is glad it was there.
They have such simple instructions that anyone can use one!
You say the risk is worth it. Why should there be any legal risk for me trying to save another human? If I risk being sued by some toad I tried to save, then let him die. It's easier.
I have Congenital Long QT Syndrome and have requested to have the on the floor where I work. The company I work for cites the same concerns. They won't even allow me to purchase my own AED and have a co-worker trained on it. The sad truth is that if I did go into TdP and it didn't correct itself, the EMT's wouldn't have time to get to me. I'd be dead long before they ever made their way through our buildings.
Hotels in general aren't going to take any risk -- especially in this economy -- unless they are forced to do so. There are exceptions, like Disney, and one way to speak is with your wallet.
If you think it's time for a change, write your congressional reps and tell them to legislate it. OSHA says companies have to have first aid kits. It stands to reason that guests in a hotel should have at least the same consideration.
And remember, just because you see an AED on the wall doesn't mean you're safe. Somebody nearby has to have the gumption to use it, not to mention the benefits of training.
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