New Jersey is reviewing a bill that would require automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in hotels. If New Jersey Assembly Bill A4486 is made law, it will be called Michael Anthony Fornicola’s Law, in honor of a man who passed away in 2012 at Harrah’s Resorts in Atlantic City. His cause of death was sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Michael’s family is fighting for the legislation because they believe his life could have been saved if a defibrillator was available on his floor. As a result of his passing, hotel owners and lawmakers are taking a closer look at the importance of AEDs on hotel grounds.
Does your resort have these devices available? If not, now is a good time to follow New Jersey’s example. If someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest on your property, you only have about 10 minutes to restore their heart rhythms and save their life. Emergency medical services may not be able to arrive within that short window of time, especially if you’re located in a densely populated city or a long distance from the nearest hospital.
Are AEDs Required in Hotels?
Most U.S. states still do not require hotels to have these lifesaving devices. One notable exception is New York, which requires an AED in any building with a meeting room or ballroom that holds 1,000 or more people. New Jersey legislators may soon mandate defibrillators in hotels statewide.
The other major exception is Massachusetts, which requires AEDs in all health clubs including hotel fitness centers. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia require defibrillators in gyms, but most of these states exempt hotel fitness clubs from the requirement. Massachusetts does not.
Whether or not your state requires these devices, it’s recommended that every gym have multiple defibrillators available to meet the needs of cardiac arrest sufferers.
Which Features Are Important for Hotel AEDs?
Different industries require different types of defibrillators depending on the challenges unique to their business. The following AED features are fundamental for lodging facilities:
- Ease of Use: One of the top reasons why hoteliers avoid purchasing AEDs is because they’re concerned that their staff lacks the medical training to use one. Many AEDs, though, are designed to be easy for a layperson to use.
- Pediatric Capabilities: Not all cardiac arrest sufferers are adults. If a child under 8 years old or under 55 pounds needs resuscitation, the shock must be adjusted to a safe level for small children. Not every defibrillator has this capability.
- Compact Size: If you run a sizable resort, the defibrillation device may need to be rushed a very long distance in a short amount of time. You need a model that’s lightweight and easy to carry.
- High Durability Ratings: From the fitness center to the pool, hotel AEDs take a lot of abuse. They may be exposed to moisture, rushed long distances, or subject to extreme temperatures. Make sure to invest in a model that can withstand all types of conditions.
- Affordability: Cost is a key factor because most hotels require multiple defibrillators. Considering that these devices can cost between $1,200 and $2,000 each, they can be financially burdensome. Fortunately, many top models are on the lower end of the price spectrum.
Which AEDs Are Recommended for Hotels?
The following defibrillators all come from industry-leading, FDA-approved manufacturers. They’re among the most trusted and top-rated defibrillators on the market, and they offer all the features necessary to serve your staff and guests.
With its state-of-the-art cprINSIGHT™ analysis technology, the Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 is the only AED in its class that offers real-time shockable rhythm analysis. It automatically determines how much shock should be delivered to the victim.
Ease of Use: ClearVoice audible instructions guide the user step-by-step, ensuring that anyone can use the electrodes and deliver lifesaving treatment. The instructions can even toggle between English and Spanish at the touch of a button.
Pediatric Capabilities: The CR2 has a Child Mode button that automatically reduces the electrical energy. No special pads are required.
Durability: The CR2 is a small but sturdy machine that boasts an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance.
Size: The device weighs just 4.5 pounds and measures 3.8 x 8.9 x 10.8 inches.
Affordability: At $1,940, the Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 is an excellent value considering the state-of-the-art features.
Philips HeartStart FRx
Philips is one of the oldest and most trusted names in medical devices, and their HeartStart FRx has professional-grade features that appeal to the EMS professional and layperson alike.
Ease of Use: The FRx provides voice assistance for both CPR delivery and defibrillation via the Philips Life Guide system. The instructions break down the number, pace, and firmness of compressions and ensure safe shock delivery.
Pediatric Capabilities: The device includes an Infant/Child key that instantly adjusts the voltage for small children.
Durability: The FRx boasts an IPX5 waterproof rating, meaning that it can withstand direct exposure to water jets without being penetrated. It has also passed crush-testing up to 500 pounds.
Size: This defibrillator weighs just 3.5 pounds with the battery installed, and it measures 2.4 x 7.1 x 8.9 inches. It’s no bigger than a handheld video game unit.
Affordability: A Philips FRx Value Package costs $1,954. In addition to the defibrillator itself, the value package includes a cabinet, carrying case, and other useful accessories. Though it costs a bit more, its intuitive shock delivery makes it a truly top-of-the-line model.
The Defibtech Lifeline VIEW has set a new standard for visual instruction and ease of use. If simplicity is your top concern, the VIEW should be your first choice.
Ease of Use: The VIEW not only coaches the user through CPR and defibrillation; it demonstrates the process with full, high-resolution video. No other AED offers this feature. The user can even modify the instruction based on their level of training.
Pediatric Capabilities: This device is child-friendly. It just requires a special set of Defibtech VIEW pediatric pads, sold separately. Adult pads should only be used on children in an emergency if no child pads are available.
Durability: Simply put, this is the most rugged external defibrillator in its class. It has passed crush-testing up to 1,000 pounds and also has the highest available ratings for dust resistance, water resistance, and drop/shock resistance.
Size: At just under 3 pounds, the VIEW is one of the lightest AEDs available. It measures just 7.3 x 9.5 x 2.3 inches.
Affordability: The Defibtech Lifeline VIEW is available for $1,820. Its incredible ease of use makes it a bargain.
Important AED Accessories for Hotels
When purchasing an automated external defibrillator for your hotel, motel, or resort, you may want to consider adding the following accessories:
- An AED cabinet: Each device should have its own cabinet located in a visible, easily accessible area.
- A first responder kit:This kit should include a selection of important items like safety gloves, razors (in case you need to shave the victim’s chest), and shears.
- AED signage:If your state requires physician oversight or monthly AED checks, it’s especially important to keep inspection tags and other signage on hand. Check out this complete list of AED state requirements.
Other optional accessories include carry cases and backpacks. Consider also keeping extra batteries and pads on hand in case of an emergency.
Where Should AEDs Be Placed in a Hotel?
The pending New Jersey bill proposes that defibrillators should be kept “in each lobby, meeting room, banquet hall, and fitness center, as well as on every residential floor.” This is a reasonable requirement because every second matters in the event of a cardiac emergency. With each minute that passes, the victim’s prognosis decreases by 10%.
By keeping a defibrillator on every floor and in common areas, guests can be assured that there’s always a device within a reasonable distance. If you have a guest on the 14th floor, and the only defibrillator is in the lobby, there may not be enough time to save the person’s life.
At the very least, consider keeping an AED in the lobby, the fitness center, and the pool area, as well as on each floor.
AED Business Packages for Hotels
If you need to purchase 10 devices for your seven-story resort, don’t buy them individually. In many cases, you can save money by purchasing defibrillators in bulk.
A number of distributors offer AED packages with deep discounts for high-volume orders. Make sure to buy from an authorized distributor, and don’t go through the normal checkout process. Contact them directly to inquire about AED business packages and bulk savings. You may be surprised by how much you can save.
AEDs Save Lives
By investing in automated external defibrillators, you can make your hotel a truly safe destination that caters to its patrons’ greatest needs. It’s an excellent business decision that may even save lives. Just consider the features that are most important for you, and take some time to compare the various models and accessories.
A continental breakfast may help your guests get through the morning, but an AED may add years to their lives.