Heart Attack Lawyer
According to data released by the American Heart Association, approximately 424,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital on an annual basis in the United States. Making matters worse is the fact that the majority of those events prove deadly.
The key to surviving a medical emergency of this type is for victims to receive virtually instantaneous cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as electrical shock produced by a defibrillator device.
Each minute that passes in which this critical treatment is not received diminishes an individual’s chance of survival by 7 percent to 10 percent. Sadly, delays in this type of urgent treatment are far more likely to occur in public venues where the necessary equipment is absent or non-functional.
When a lack of access to defibrillators and/or bystanders and staff trained in CPR results in severe injury and possibly death, victims and families must turn to a heart attack lawyer in order to fight for fair compensation and the justice they deserve.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Fundamentals
Not to be mistaken for a heart attack, cardiac arrest happens when the electrical function of the heart suddenly and unexpectedly malfunctions, causing the cessation of normal beating. A heart attack, by contrast, tends to occur due to arterial blockage which prevents blood from traveling to the muscles of the heart.
Whereas heart attack victims regularly experience early warning signs, including breathing difficulty and chest pain, sudden cardiac arrest happens without such alarm bells.
The utter unpredictability of these medical events makes it all the more important for public venues of all descriptions to be prepared to immediately address emergencies of this type.
The Life-Saving Role of Automated External Defibrillators
Given the alarming frequency of sudden cardiac arrest among Americans, it is not surprising that increased attention is being paid to the so-called “chain of survival” which must be promptly set into motion in order to reduce the number of fatalities.
The good news is that technological improvements in medical device manufacturing have facilitated the development of portable, potentially life-saving tools known as automated external defibrillators (“AEDs”).
These devices permit trained, non-medical individuals in a wide array of settings to swiftly start treatment of a person experiencing cardiac arrest by administering the necessary electrical shock. AEDs assist responders in real time via visual as well as audible prompts, helping eliminate guesswork and variables involving split-second judgments.
It has been suggested that tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year if the use of AEDs became more widespread, with the American Heart Association reporting that communities instituting comprehensive AED and CPR training programs have attained cardiac arrest survival rates exceeding 40%.
Public Places where AEDs Should Be Present
In an effort to take full advantage of the benefits offered by AEDs and to increase the survivability of sudden cardiac arrest, officials at local, state and federal levels have begun to take legislative action.
While applicable laws concerning the requirement that an AED be kept on-site vary by jurisdiction, examples of public venues in which there may be such a duty include:
- Post offices
- Concert venues
- Shopping malls
- Sports arenas
- Senior centers/Nursing homes
- Golf courses
- Dining establishments
- Theme parks and zoos
- Dental and medical offices
Deaths from sudden cardiac arrest which could have been prevented by the presence of an AED are especially tragic, and when they occur, a heart attack lawyer can be a strong ally for families in their quest for accountability. While AEDs are incredibly valuable and can be lifesaving devices, they are not 100% effective. An improperly maintained or malfunctioning device may lead to other complications that will require the help of an experienced attorney.
It may be possible for victims’ loved ones to receive payment for loss of financial support and earning capacity, emotional trauma, lost familial relationships and more.
Getting the Help of a Heart Attack Lawyer
As with any personal injury matter, establishing that harm resulted from the lack of a properly functioning AED is certain to be a highly individualized, fact-intensive process.
For this reason, it is essential for victims and their families to align themselves with a heart attack lawyer with the ability to analyze medical records, marshal definitive evidence and mount persuasive arguments on their behalf.
If you would like to learn more about your legal options following a preventable tragedy of this sort, contact our firm today.