Saturday, May 1, 2010

AED Madness

A few years ago, some poor unfortunate had a heart attack and died. A person with a "medical" degree who was a witness to the whole scene (but curiously only took notes) stated that the poor schmuck would not have become non compos mentus if someone had just happened to be carrying one of those paddle shock devices you see on ER. These devices, officially called Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), can now be seen littering the walls in most public venues. Code requirements are that they be placed every 3.5 ft apart. I don't know about you, but my first reaction upon hearing what led to the insane proliferation of AEDs in our airports, museums, and workplaces was that I was glad Joe Schmo did not die from rectal crampage, else we would have invasive butt monitors nailed to every wall.

Apart from the fact that those who own AED stock are now set for life, my question is, who the heck is using these devices? If someone fell to the floor clutching their chest and required this form of electro-shock therapy, would they want some stranger frying their innards in willy-nilly fashion? Each AED device comes with a booklet that makes War and Peace look like McDonald's dollar menu. Does the dieing man really have the time for us to sit down and casually read through this instructive tome? I think we all know the answer to this question. Given our litigious society, can you image the law suits that would emerge from improper usage of an AED? At the trial we would hear responses like: "I thought I was supposed to attach the paddles to my chest." or "I wasn't supposed to take their pants off? or "Err, what did 'ON' mean?". I think it's time to end the madness and take on the über-powerful AED congressional lobbyists. Let's leave the doctorin' to the doctors.