March 13, 2006

A Young Athlete with Heart: Before he died of a rare heart condition, 11-year-old Canadian hockey player Chase McEachern had one wish he expressed in a letter to Don Cherry: "make defibrillators mandatory in hockey arenas and schools everywhere."

posted by rcade to hockey at 07:35 AM - 21 comments

What a truly moving story. My question is why don't they have the defrib's in the schools now? The first thing that pops into my head is that they probably think that since they're kids, they wouldn't need them because heart ailments occur in adults...

posted by wingnut4life at 08:04 AM on March 13

I couldn't help but notice during a recent trip to the US that you guys have those things everywhere - airports, golf clubs, restaurants even. My dad was telling me there was a move at home to have them installed in all golf clubs. The prime reason for not doing so is the thought of some clueless muppet administering a massive dose of electricity to some poor soul completely incorrectly.

posted by JJ at 08:47 AM on March 13

The Men’s over 30 league in our hockey association was successful in getting deliberators placed in both of our rinks. The cost has come way down over the past couple of years for them (Under $1000 US) & they are pretty much idiot proof. The machine will not work unless it measures a need for the jolt. I feel by all means every school should have one. Juri Fisher of the Red Wings comes to mind……………….

posted by directpressure at 09:52 AM on March 13

Yep - I think much in the same way the poor unfortunate girl in Columbus helped make the netting used in arenas mandatory; Jiri Fischer and this obviously thoughtful boy will help make the defibrilators mandatory as well. And really, it's not just for the athletes. I mean, have you seen the size of people lumbering around these days? I'm surprised more hearts aren't just jumping out of people's chests, giving them the finger and walking away. Talk about having to work too hard. These just as easily could be the difference in saving the life of a fan or parent.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:14 AM on March 13

I'm working on getting involved with this myself, as I own a hockey memorabilia store in Barrie. If my idea flies, I'll share it with you all here when we get started. I covered the movement to get these devices in schools in Indiana a couple of years ago. They're inexpensive, safe and lifesavers. What's the tough decision?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:38 AM on March 13

What's the tough decision? "wfrazerjr" ...some clueless muppet administering a massive dose of electricity to some poor soul completely incorrectly. "JJ" ...they probably think that since they're kids, they wouldn't need them because heart ailments occur in adults... "wingnut4life" I think that these statements can tell you what everybody thinks/has thought about defib's. Weedy summed it all up -- nobody will notice or step up unless someone gets hurt or killed. I for one am guilty of this. I don't even know if there are defib's in my kids' school. So, in essence, this brave little boy inspired rcade to post this, which in turn inspired me to be more active in my community. Thank you, Chase.

posted by wingnut4life at 10:49 AM on March 13

When I go somewhere now I look for the EXIT signs & the Defib cabinet. Let’s hope that Chase’s message is heard around the world!

posted by directpressure at 12:09 PM on March 13

i think that it is truly stupid when they do not have those things in public areas, it is a real risk for kids and adults as well when the managers of public places do not have the consideration to have them around just because it may start a panic, but in truth i think it would be a much larger and widespread panic if people started dying because they could not get the proper first aid when they needed it. It is a really simple matter: The more of these things that are around the more lives there will be that are saved

posted by kozak90 at 12:41 PM on March 13

Does anyone have experience using these things? My impression is that the procedure's akin to CPR -- something that a diligent individual could learn to do with a little training.

posted by rcade at 01:53 PM on March 13

We have one at my job. They are idiot-proof. There isn't really a chance that you could hurt someone with it because it measures the heart beat of the person and it has a lot less power than a hospital one.

posted by bperk at 02:12 PM on March 13

rcade, I just checked around on the net and every one that I looked at had voice instructions that you follow, and it guides you through everything, even when to shock and not to shock. Just like bperk said, "Idiot-proof."

posted by wingnut4life at 02:18 PM on March 13

Nothing is 100% idiot proof. We're building much better and stronger idiots by the day. Someone will manage to screw this up and start a building fire or use it on a random cat if they're everywhere. No reason not to do it, just saying is all.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:10 PM on March 13

The occasional cat casualty still doesn't outweigh the benefits of having these machines widely available.

posted by bperk at 03:14 PM on March 13

Really? If this were ancient Egypt I'd have you killed in a most unpleasant manner. Something inserted through something, or whathaveyou.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:33 PM on March 13

rcade: I've had the unfortunate pleasure of actually having to use one of these and they are truly as about idiot proof as you could make them. In fact the one thing I remember the most from my experience is that I wanted it to give the instructions more quickly. I would argue zero training is required, but I was a lifeguard at the time and had been trained on the device so I might be a little biased. That being said CPR works very well in conjunction with a defib. While CPR will help keep you alive it will almost never 're-start' / 'restore' your hearts normal rhythm. A defib however is designed to do just that. Put the two together and you can really make a huge difference. bperk/Weedy: You should see how many joules a friggin' cockroach can take before it bites the dust.

posted by camcanuck at 03:50 PM on March 13

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way endorsing any actions that could result in any harm, injury, or death to cats.

posted by bperk at 04:02 PM on March 13

You should see how many joules a friggin' cockroach can take before it bites the dust. What can you expect from a bug that can live two weeks without its head. I've never had to use a defib but in CPR class last year they basically told us some steps which included using the thing if a person's heart stopped beating, but did not tell us how to use it. That I guess sends a message that the things are idiot proof, though I've seen people who would probably be utterly incapeable of operating it.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:18 PM on March 13

as my CPR/AED instructor told our class "the only way to hurt someone with an AED is to hit them in the head with it"

posted by spgrl at 05:24 PM on March 13

or not have it available for use in the first place...

posted by elovrich at 12:57 AM on March 14

Just a followup, I checked at my daughter's school today and they do have defib's. My son's does also.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:03 PM on March 14

We have defibs, but I think almost everyone has no freaking idea where they are...

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:33 PM on March 14

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