The scenario is all too common: a person collapses and suffers a heart attack in public, and those around him or her panic, call 911, attempt to perform CPR, and some inevitably get flustered by the sheer frustration or fright of witnessing the horrible scene as it unfolds right before their eyes.

What if an AED was available? What if an AED could have been used to revive the victim, within moments rather than many minutes after the initial attack?

That could be what went through the minds of the family of Mr. Steven Hevenor, a 43-year old professional ballroom dancer that collapsed onstage at the Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan, Florida in 2012.

One witness, a former fire chief captain, leapt to Mr. Hevenor’s side as the heart attack suddenly came on to provide relief. Unfortunately, the award-winning dancer was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

As a personal injury lawyer specializing in AED litigation throughout the country, I’m saddened by cases like Mr. Hevenor’s. Hoteliers know that having an AED on premises can boost the chances of survival dramatically in an incident like this.

AEDs themselves do not stop heart attacks – but they are a device that helps to quickly and reliably re-establish regular, normal heart beat pulses by electronic shock, buying the victim enough time until paramedics arrive on scene.

Studies have found that using an AED on a victim within 3-5 minutes of an attack can improve chances of survival by more than 90%. What’s more, the devices don’t cost that much – prices range from $1,200 to $2,500 a unit – so it stands to reason that a hotel chain as profitable and exquisite as the Ritz Carlton should be able to afford to have these devices on hand at its premises.

Could Mr. Hevenor’s life have been saved if there was an AED on-site and within reach? Studies point to the answer being “Yes”.

To read more about Mr. Hevenor and his incredible professional achievements, click here.

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