It seems obvious that exercising at a fitness center could result in a cardiac emergency, so it makes common sense to equip them with portable defibrillators. But a new study shows that such devices are needed as much, or even more so, in nontraditional fitness venues such as dance studios, skating rinks, and bowling alleys.
In this study, published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers analyzed 849 sudden cardiac arrests, which are usually caused by an irregularity in the heart’s electrical system that makes the heartbeat suddenly stop and cardiac function cease. If not corrected, death occurs within minutes.
The study showed that 52 such cardiac arrests occurred at traditional exercise facilities, such as health clubs and fitness centers, while 84 occurred at alternative exercise sites, including tennis courts, community centers, bowling alleys, ice rinks, and dance studios. Another 713 arrests occurred at other public indoor sites not associated with exercise.
These figures translate to one arrest every 42 years at each traditional exercise facility, with a higher rate at nontraditional sites: one arrest every 11 years for indoor tennis facilities, every 13 years for ice rinks, and every 27 years for bowling alleys, the authors said.
So if you frequent such places, talk to the staff about getting an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED. Easy access to such a device could save your life, or the life of someone else.
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