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Entries in AED (8)


2016 Legislative Threats: AEDs, Privacy, and More

This post is the fourth in a series of four case studies that demonstrate how IHRSA works to protect your health club from legislation that could harm your business. View the first post here, the second post here, and the third post here.

Over the last few weeks, IHRSA has highlighted threats posed by state legislatures to impose restrictions on health club membership contracts, limit access to qualified personal trainers, and to tax healthy lifestyles. While these are some of the issues that are likely to appear in multiple state legislatures, there are a number of other topics that could arise in 2016 and negatively impact your health club.

IHRSA’s Public Policy team has become very adept at predicting where we will fight battles and proactively work to mitigate threats. However, politics is inherently unpredictable, with lawmakers subject to pressure from constituents, current events, and their own ambitions. What follows are a few of the issues that could arise in your state in 2016.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia require health clubs to maintain an AED on premises. Given how states often borrow legislative language from one another, it is possible that each of the other 39 states could consider requiring clubs to house an AED at some point. For states that already have a mandate, there exists the threat of the law being changed to increase legal risks for clubs.

In every case, IHRSA works to ensure that bills mandating AEDs provide health club operators and staff with adequate liability protection for both the use and non-use of an AED, contain reasonable staffing requirements, and provide adequate compliance time. Heading into 2016, IHRSA anticipates extra attention will be given to the issue in Connecticut, Georgia, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.


Over the last few years, one of the most commonly addressed issues by state legislatures across the country is that of extending civil rights protections to transgender individuals. IHRSA does not view this type of legislation, which grants necessary protections in regard to employment, housing, and education, as a threat.

However, IHRSA is working to educate lawmakers on how these laws uniquely impact health club locker rooms and may expose well-intentioned operators to increased legal risks. IHRSA expects the issue to continue to gain momentum, with a likelihood of every state giving some consideration to transgender rights, if they have not enacted a bill already (17 states have passed laws granting protections in places of public accommodation).

And more…

IHRSA deals with many types of legislation that could impact every aspect of your health club business. Childcare, spas, tanning, liability waivers—you name it. This year, we anticipate childcare and/or kids’ camps legislation in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Minnesota, rules for spas and pools in Massachusetts, and rules for clubs that offer tanning in almost every state. We are also keeping an eye out for proposals that would restrict or prohibit the use of liability waivers in clubs, an issue that could arise in any state in which consumer protection becomes a hot topic.

The best way for you to prepare for any one of these issues, or any other that might arise, is to stay well informed by subscribing to IHRSA’s Legislative Alerts and routinely visiting your state page. Also, if you hear of any other legal or legislative updates going on in your state, please share them with IHRSA and other clubs in your area.


AED bill in Ohio has flaws for club owners

A bill requiring health clubs in Ohio to maintain an automated external defibrillator (AED) is currently pending in the state house. Introduced earlier this month, House Bill 574 (HB 574), would require clubs to have an AED onsite and ensure that trained staff is present during hours of operation “in which staff are regularly on duty.”

IHRSA opposes HB 574 because the bill does not include necessary legal protections and fails to safeguard well-intentioned health club operators and employees from the risk of costly litigation. 

Similar legislation in the state senate has not moved since being introduced last fall.

IHRSA supports AED legislation that contains necessary liability protections - use and non-use - for club owners and their employees, reasonable staffing requirements for staffed and unstaffed clubs, and adequate compliance time.

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Sullivan, IHRSA’s senior legislative analyst, at For more news and updates on every state, visit the members-only State page at


Use of AED at club saves man's life

Even though the majority of health club members are in good shape it doesn't mean a medical emergency won't occur. 

Just ask a member of the Midtown Athletic Club in Rochester, N.Y., who fell off a treadmill and went into cardiac arrest.

Every employee at the Midtown Athletic Club is trained to use the AED. When it happened, staff immediately rushed into action and used an automatic external defibrillator (AED). The club has three hanging on the walls and Club Manager Bob McKernan said they were one of the first in the state to get them.

 For more on the story, read on.


This Week in the Fitness Industry 2-15-13

What's in This Week in the Fitness Industry?

  • many don't realize the importance of good nutrition while working out
  • Gold's Gym defines "fitness cliff"
  • student runs fitness consulting business
  • NY court decides on AED lawsuit 

Click here to read them all!



NY high court rules in favor of club in AED lawsuit

A New York court this week ruled that the state's AED statute, which requires certain health clubs to have an AED and trained user onsite, does not create an affirmative duty to use the AED in the event of a cardiac emergency. 

The Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, made the ruling during a negligence suit when a Long Island club did not use the device when an employee saw the man breathing.

Judge Susan Read wrote that the law “does not create a duty running from a health club to its members to use an AED.”

The ruling is consistent with IHRSA's position that AED statutes should not create additional liability exposure for health clubs. 

For the complete story, check out The Republic.



Be prepared for emergencies

Accidents and emergencies at the club are bound to happen. With tens of thousands of visits per month, the odds are not in your favor that you will go months or years without having to face a serious situation.

The most important thing owners need to ensure is that staff members are not only certified on how to use emergency equipment like AEDs or emergencies techniques like CPR, but they also know how to react in such situations.

Check out this story on how some owners reacted or prepared.


Life saved at Elmwood Fitness Center

The following was submitted to IHRSA by Michael Heim, manager at Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans. Elmwood is a family fitness center that is an approximately 165,000 square foot facility offering programming for six-week-old children to adult seniors. They have been serving their community for 24 years and have over 20,000 members. He hopes this story will inspire other facilities to attain an AED machine.  

Today, I would like share a life saving story that three other employees and I were involved in, on August 25th.

Elmwood was hosting a racquetball tournament within our facility where members and nonmembers are able to participate. I personally was dropping off my daughter for a swim lesson when I saw Heather (Manager on duty) run to the front desk, asking the racquetball director what's going on. He stated someone collapsed in court 4.

I rushed over to court 4 where a manager on duty was giving breaths and a fitness consultant was giving compressions. I asked the consultant if he needed a break, he did! I started giving compressions and we shocked the man twice with an AED machine. After the 2nd set of 5 rounds of compressions the EMTs arrived to take the patient to Ochsner Health Systems, our parent company, where he was in open heart surgery within 30 minutes.

The emergency doctors stated, "The employees who administered CPR saved this man's life."

I am happy to say, he is alive and recovering nicely. He is the third person whom we, as an organization, have saved by using CPR and an AED machine. Elmwood was the first facility in the state to have an AED machine on site and now we have two.

I hope this story inspires other facilities to attain an AED machine. 

In health and fitness,

Michael Heim


Death? Or Life? 

By Craig R. Waters

© JohanSwanepoel - Fotolia.comLast month, a New York appeals court issued a ruling that could have significant and far-reaching consequences for health clubs nationwide.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously concluded that clubs have a legal duty to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a member experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

New York’s existing General Business Law 627-a requires clubs to have AEDs on-site, along with an employee trained in their use, but the December ruling was the first to posit an “affirmative” requirement to use them in the case of a cardiac emergency.

The finding could, conceivably, set a precedent for court decisions in other states that have mandated the placement of AEDs in health clubs.  

The New York case grew out of a 2008 motion filed on behalf of Gregory Miglino, who had collapsed and died after playing racquetball at a club in Lake Grove, New York. Court records indicate that another member alerted the front desk, which immediately called 911. While several employees, including one trained in AED use, soon brought the AED to Miglino and checked his pulse, they didn’t utilize the device. Minutes later, an ambulance arrived and took Miglino to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The records didn’t indicate why the AED hadn’t been employed.

Conversely, not a month goes by when there aren’t several reports of club members’ lives being saved by the prompt use of an AED.

© - Fotolia.comIn December, George Besheres, 65, of Lynn, Massachusetts, found himself among that fortunate group. The retired contractor was beginning a workout at the Latitude Sports Club, an IHRSA-member facility in Peabody, Massachusetts, when he suffered cardiac arrest, passed out, and, falling on his face, gashed himself badly. Within seconds, though, he became the focus of a concerted rescue attempt involving both club staff and members.

Among those who came to his aid were employees Judith Bennett and Kristin Hoffman; trainer Keith Leblanc; yoga instructor Alice Odachowski; and members Dr. Carol Warfield, a physician; Cheryl Seaman, a hospital ER nurse; and John Salvanelli, a firefighter.

CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation were administered, and, when the club’s AED arrived, it was used immediately. The first shock failed to restore Besheres’ heartbeat, but a second one succeeded.

Rushed to a hospital, Besheres subsequently had triple bypass surgery and is now recovering at home. “I’m felling very, very well,” he told The Salem News. “I can’t say enough about the club and all the help I got from the members and the staff.”

While the ramifications of the New York ruling have yet to play out, one thing is clear: clubs must pay attention to the evolving legal issues relating to AEDs in health clubs. 

IHRSA supports AED legislation that contains necessary liability protections —including reasonable legal protection for clubs who do not use the AED —for club owners and their employees, reasonable staffing requirements for staffed and unstaffed clubs, and adequate compliance time.

Andy Roeder“Clubs should certainly take note of the ruling and its implications,” suggests Andy Roeder, the president of CardioReady, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, an independent review board that certifies cardiac emergency readiness programs in public venues. “The court has indicated that the expected duty of care cannot be met by merely acquiring and installing AEDs… We believe that the best approach for clubs to take in managing this risk is to position themselves beyond reproach by implementing emergency response programs that conform with best-practice standards. Vibrant, documented plans can certainly help insulate clubs from liability, and, more importantly, better safeguard human lives.

“The costs of implementing comprehensive programs pale in comparison to the expenses of litigation and the value of a club’s customers,“ he told CBI.

CardioReady, an IHRSA associate member company, notes that if an AED is used within 3-5 minutes of collapse, a victim has a more than 70% likelihood of recovery. If, however, an AED isn’t used within five minutes, their chances fall to under 5%.

“The emotions run the full spectrum from devastation with a lost life…to elation with a saved one,” explains Roeder. “When describing our program, we refer to ‘reputational protection’ and the fact that an SCA event can lead, in the extremes, to either negative or positive press. The SCA save story isn’t just a great human-interest piece. It’s also a great business-interest piece.”

 - Craig R. Waters is the editor-in-chief of CBI and can be reached at