Sudden cardiac arrestWhile a customer was shopping in a California’s Target store, he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest. The premises didn’t have any emergency AED- automated external defibrillator. The customer tragically died even before the arrival of medical responders. The deceased’s family sued the store for negligence as they had failed to install an AED at the store which they believed could have saved her life. The decision was finally handed by California Supreme Court and even though the case is under appeal, you will be surprised at the ruling made.

Sudden cardiac arrest is an equal opportunity tragedy

First, you need to understand that cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack. A cardiac arrest results from the failure of the heart’s electrical system to make it start the chaotic rhythm known as fibrillation. There are many causes of a sudden cardiac arrest which could include genetic heart diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The arrest could also be caused by interactions of drugs, blows to the chest or part of heart attach when the muscles of the heart fail to work properly thus resulting in electrical breakdown.

Any person can suffer a cardiac arrest regardless of their ethnicity, gender or age. This cardiac catastrophe is an equal opportunity and every day, it claims about 900 lives in events occurring out of hospital in the U.S and it is in fact America’s leading cause of death. To compare how serious cardiac arrest is, about 60 people in US die from fires. We know too well that public buildings, schools and most businesses have fire extinguishers and fire drills on the premises. However, this is not the case when it comes to AED which trained bystanders can use when responding to sudden cases of cardiac arrests.

On site AEDs are required by schools and government buildings

One can’t help but wonder what is being done to contain cardiac arrest, a serious condition that has been killing more Americans and actually has a validated form of treatment that can be used by any person aged above 18 years. Most states have now enacted some laws that require AEDs to be present in schools. The federal government also has a policy requiring that AEDs must be present in all the buildings. Most businesses have also decided to protect their customers, visitors and employees by ensuring that they are able to access this amazing technology.

But due to the ruling given by the supreme case, employees and customers of Target might never have this crucial life saving protection available on store. It is important that large retail stores have AEDs on their premises as this can help better the chances of patients surviving a cardiac arrest and this is in fact common sense.