The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Avoid cardiac emergencies at City Hall

Empty defibrillator case in City Hall rotunda.
It would be wise for Plainfielders visiting City Hall to avoid having cardiac emergencies (no matter how deservedly provoked), at least for now.

The empty AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) case pictured above
is mounted on the wall in the City Hall rotunda, across from the elevator.

For several years now, there have been moves made in various states -- including New Jersey -- to have these potentially lifesaving devices placed in a variety of public or semi-public settings such as sports facilities, schools and government buildings.
(See more national info here, and New Jersey in particular here).

While City Hall's defibrillator box is placed in a highly public location, the devices are not meant to be used by the lay public. Instead, the organization housing the AED device is supposed to have personnel trained in its use (a four-hour course seems usual), and employees familiarized with what to do in case of a cardiac emergency (more about AEDs and training here and here).

There is also evidence that the potentially lifesaving devices are sometimes inoperable because of dead batteries or a malfunction in which no shock is delivered (see more here). There are also cases where organizations fail to implement a proper training and oversight program, meaning that not only might equipment be inoperable, there may be non trained personnel available in case of emergency.

So what is the case in Plainfield?

Where is the defibrillator and is it in proper working order? Have staff been trained and do those who are not trained know who to turn to in case of a cardiac emergency?

For now, it seems it would be wise to avoid having a cardiac emergency while visiting City Hall.

As if you had any choice.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

maybe they removed it to replace the batteries?

Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

Dan: to anonymous at 8 a.m. No. It's never been there. And the cases on the other floors are also empty. Being from Plainfield, I assumed the device had been stolen and checked around. I was told months ago that no one was trained to use it. I didn't know you needed training; I thought the device instructed you. Whichever is the answer, the empty box in the City Hall Rotunda is yet another symbol of dysfunction,

Anonymous said...

There is another empty one in the municipal building. I noticed it while waiting to fight a ticket on untrimmed hedges. I thought it was odd especially since one had saved my fathers life years ago.