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Statistics can be very misleading. And Another 2 pages of thoughts.

May 18 2012 at 11:53 PM

Response to Here are the statistics

It is important to understand how representative the sample groups are of YOU. If this is based on actuaries, then it is per x million people in the database. How you vary from the 'average' person can have a huge impact. For example, chances of dying in a car accident are much higher for the subgroup of males 18-25 years old, therefore higher insurance rates, and much lower for other groups. Moving closer to the topic of this string, the vast majority of x million people would never even find themselves running in a long distance event, pulling the average probability of death in that activity close to 0. But the souls who do drop dead at the finish line had to be members of the very small subset of runners, who ran a long distance event. Perhaps the base group in the above stat was the number of runners who ran long distance events; that would make it much more representative, but if it is the same sample group of ALL of the above stats, then my odds are a lot worse. Did the article include how many people died from choking on their double cheeseburger? Just curious.

Here are some other statistics, from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. (More below)
I highly agree with Troy's comment about liability, and so does a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. I get a twitch every time someone brings up the liability excuse for not better positioning ourselves to save lives. If someone drops dead in one of our races, despite them signing the waiver, we can get sued no matter what we have and no matter what happens. If that guy is me, I'd want the AED available. Wouldn't ya'll?! I'm looking forward to some good discussions at the track or park, as I need some enlightenment. Stop for a second and imagine one of your favorite club members getting CPR at the finish line. Members who happen to be in the area, as is often the case on many weekends, include at least one of our trained emergency responders or Dr's. Knowing the success rate for CPR is in the neighborhood of only 5 - 10% (Science Daily), and AED's 40 - 79% (Cardiac Science and see below) I really can't imagine any of you thinking, "Ya, I'm OK with us not having an AED here, let's just hope he's in that 5 - 10%. Gee, I can't believe this is happening!" WHAT!?!
I understand and appreciate that a great deal of research was done by several club members, and I think many of us would find it fascinating to review at least a summary of the information collected and better understand the rationale behind the board's decision. I was surprised to hear of a number of legitimate obstacles that would have to be negotiated, but I have yet to hear one logical showstopper, and this is a life or death issue. Perhaps a file or list of key contacts and findings shared on the web site? I would think other clubs would also see benefit in reviewing that material. Now THAT would make for an interesting Runner's World article!
If anyone is going to pursue this further, perhaps a survey of club members might be in order for issues that are as significant as this one is.
Would you be willing to commit to 4 hours of training every year?
Would you be willing to be responsible for maintenance of the equipment one month a year?
Any of our physicians willing to supervise the program?
Perhaps the last question was already asked of all. I'd be happy to do more research. Might also be interesting to have conversations with AED Dealers if that hasn't been done already - what clubs and events have equipment and what have been their experiences?
What do the dealers/manufacturers have to say about RRCA's discouragement of the equipment?
Quoting from one interesting source, perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can point out if they are credible, but they certainly look so to me, and they seem to refute much of what I've heard from the Grapevine lately
"What is the difference between AEDs and defibrillators commonly used on ambulances and in hospitals?
Defibrillators sometimes used on ambulances and in hospitals, and often seen on TV, are manual defibrillators. They are larger than AEDs and are designed to be used by qualified medical personnel with special training. In contrast, AEDs are smaller and computerized so that virtually any operator can use the device and simply follow the audio and visual prompts. The decision to shock or not to shock is determined by the device, not the operator."
"Who can use an AED?
Modern AEDs are designed to be used by any motivated bystander, regardless of training. The devices are designed to advise the user about how to apply the device and whether or not to administer a shock. Some devices shock automatically if the victim has a fatal heart rhythm. Training is important, however, particularly since almost all victims also need CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Most of the time, the AED will advise the user to administer CPR, depending on the needs of the victim, and in these cases it is quite helpful to have CPR training. AEDs have been used successfully by police, firefighters, flight attendants, security guards and lay rescuers."
"Concerns about costs, liability, and training are vacuous. Would hotels debate the value of fire extinguishers? AEDs at least as important and should be given the highest priority. The chances of suffering SCA are much greater than the chances of being caught in a hotel fire."
"Surviving or succumbing to cardiac arrest is determined by what happens at the scene of the collapse," says Arthur Kellermann, professor of emergency medicine at Emory University. At the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, six of seven people who suffered sudden cardiac arrest in the past five years have been saved with AEDs, according to Ms. O'Connor, whose program has installed about 4,000 AEDs that have saved 57 lives. The San Diego program found that 74% of cardiac-arrest victims who received AED treatment survived, while only 4% survived waiting for paramedics without AED use, she says."
Here's another point I'd like to offer for consideration - this is the second time in the last 2 years or so that our RRCA insurance was a real drag. I understand it is the reason why many of our non-running athletic activities are no longer highlighted like they once were.

Too bad I didn't have time to gather and submit these thoughts when Troy asked 3 weeks ago, but the last time I showed up at a board meeting to participate in a heated RAW Board discussion was several years ago. I was so disgusted by the process that I stayed away from the club for months, never attended another meeting, and still haven't completely gotten over the event. That's also one of the reasons I've never served a 2nd term on the board.

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