Posted by SCAFoundation on 10/30/2014

A federal appeals court in California ruled this week in support of the California Supreme Court in the case of Verdugo v. Target. 

[The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation had submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the plaintiff in this case.]

While it is extremely disappointing that the California courts have not recognized the importance of preparing for sudden cardiac arrest in big box stores such as Target, it is good to know that while Judge Harry Pregerson, part of a three-member appeals court panel, accepted the decision, he called it "troubling."

The devices are “inexpensive, nearly foolproof,” and “should be as common as first-aid kits,” he said. 

"Defibrillators are crucial to the survival of sudden cardiac-arrest victims,” he said. They were formerly sold by Target for $1,200, and, according to one study, can be used effectively by untrained sixth-graders. On-site defibrillators are particularly useful in big-box stores, he said, because of the time it would take for an outside medical crew to navigate the premises. He further noted that Oregon requires large retailers to keep the devices available.

Amen, Judge Pregerson. Let's hope that other policy-makers will be influenced by your insights.

See ruling here.





Submitted by Bob Trenkamp on 10/31/2014


There is another issue that weighed heavily: I suspect the court would unanimously support each city's, each county's, or each state's requirement for universal deployment of AEDs. The problem is with asking the Federal Government to decree it. Fire extinguishers are not required in big box stores by federal mandate - it's usually the state or county - and in some cases - the municipal codes that require fire extinguishers.

It's all about concentration of power.

Unfortunately, that means that to achieve what we want - a world where an AED is no more than 400 feet away - we will need to get a lot of folks bugging their local leaders.

So in the end, it will be up to each of us to promote the broad deployment of AEDs. Given that nearly 70% of all cardiac arrests in this country happen in the home, the most logical place to start is to make sure you have one in your home. Not only is the home the most likely place where an AED will be needed, it is also the place where it is MOST needed, because that's a place where a (usually) lone rescuer is going to have to perform guideline-compliant chest compressions for an average of ten minutes, and fewer than 20% of adults can do that.

1. the 70% figure is from the CARES 2005-2013 data
2. the ten minute figure and the percentage who can comes from a presentation at the AHA Resuscitation Science Symposium in 2012: Using CPR training manikins and a test cohort whose age distribution matched that of cardiac arrest victims, only the youngest 20% were able to make it to ten minutes. The manikins used were at the 25th percentile of adult chest stiffness. See and