Competitive ballroom is demanding; cardiac events and the need to address them at comps

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Akita, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    If you say you have someone who is trained on hand, it would be much, much smarter to hire someone who is solely there as a first responder, not get someone on the volunteer comp staff a Red Cross card or cross your fingers and hope there's an MD who knows what they're doing right there (great, you're a doctor..oh, you're a pediatrician who hasn't done an ER rotation in thirty years?) I'm certified in pediatric CPR, which includes training in performing it on adults, in an emergency I probably would do something (only because I'm covered by the Samaritan Law where a doctor or EMT is not so if I screw up I'm not on the hook) but I would rather let a paramedic with full equipment handle it. And yes, in pro-am at least there is probably a doctor there...but maybe not.

    Not to mention, that covers more legal bases for the organizer. If they're going to raise costs, might as well spend it on something everyone might benefit from.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  2. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Easy to comment "oh there's probably a doctor in the crowd' but when YOU are the person with a medical emergency are YOU going to be ok to hear that there is nobody qualified to help you, that equipment is locked up in a nearby mall, or worse? A concussion, heart attack, or broken bone is still quite a big deal WHEN IT IS YOU.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I certainly agree...just saying that if people are be-moaning the cost, it is nothing to do as I noted...and all an organizer needs to do is show a fair duty to care....knowingthe location of the aed and having someone on staff who can administer cpr, would cover that....obviously having a paid mdeical professional would be optimal....I don't see organizers being willing to take on the billable rate for that....or the liability of maintaining their own aed...
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    aeds are never locked....they are mounted on the wall for anyone to grab....and I am not arguing that other injuries are unimportant...I am arguing that cardio vascular events are mostly in a category all their own in terms of immediacy
  5. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    As customers, why do we really care what it costs a competition to provide us with services? If they need to raise costs to cover things that are important to us, then they also need to deal with that. I for one am not willing to sacrifice my safety so that an entrepreneur can make a profit.
  6. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    In this case, they were next door in a locked up, closed MALL…
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    we may not care...but organizers have to weigh the degrees of options that they have....I need to provide food...to what extent?...I need to provide a safe environment...how much is enough to meet a fair duty of care?.....I need to avoid losing money at this comp, so what is ideal and what is good enough?....I know what is ideal, what is feasible?....sure, I'd love to know that every comp was providing me with the gold standard in every way...but many also will not want to pay for that ...we have heard it here....frankly, we are all in situaltions at our gyms and other venues like are churches, etc...where we have not likely wondered or confirmed any such safe guards....but, establishing a minimum is a good start, IMO
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
    Joe likes this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    that is odd in that there certainly should be one in the building in which the event is being held and readily accessible...that is a very bad oversight....and dancers should petition for the minimum standard as a requirement for comps
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I have taught this gentleman and his wife. And I spent hours upon hours in the same studio sharing the floor with them. They were a lovely couple and this is a an immense tragedy. And my heart. goes. out. to. her.

    This is the third man, in three years, to die on the dance floor. Plus the man in Chicago, plus Al from Park West... all who dropped in the ballroom but were revived.

    A few facts:
    • Hotels may or may NOT have AEDs. And they don't do any good when they are locked in the banquet managers office, three floors away.
    • AEDs are meant to be used by lay persons, with training.
    • They are easy to use and will talk you through the entire event.
    • They save lives.
    • I was able to secure a contract with an AED distributor that would allow NDCA, USADance, and organizers to purchase AEDs at almost 50% of the list price.
    • There are MANY competition workers, myself included who are AED certified and would, if necessary, use one to save my friend, colleague, or client.

    Immediately after Steve died on the pro floor, as the Vice President of the Professional Dancers Federation, I lobbied this with the NDCA. I received absolutely NO support from anyone at the NDCA meeting. I was argued with and had to fight false facts and scare tactics regarding costs and liability. It was even suggested that in "talking about this we open ourselves up to a lawsuit if we don't have the AEDs... so we better stop talking about this." And my mic was handed off to someone else.


    There are several ways that organizers the NDCA, and USADance have protection
    • They already have customers sign liability waivers
    • states have good samaritan acts
    • The Cardiac Arrest Survival Act, passed by Congress, provides immunity to those who give emergency care
    • AED manufacturers offer an indemnification agreement to AED users in the event of product malfunction.
    Recent events actually indicate that corporations face a HIGHER RISK of liability in NOT having AEDs available in potentially risky areas. A Florida jury found Busch Gardens negligent for not properly training its employees to provide emergency care and for failing to have essential medical equipment, including a defibrillator, on the premises. The plaintiff was awarded $500,000 in damages for the death of her teenage daughter at the amusement park.

    I just don't get it.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
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  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes...product malfunction is protected... the standard is that it need only have the battery checked at proper intervals is certainly on any owner of the aed...that really is the only maintainance...and persons administering cpr are usually protected for making a good faith effort...that being said, all hotels are required, in theory, to have them(and have them available/accessible) ....at least according to the officials at my fire dept......if that is going to be punted to the hotel then, at the very least, taking responsibility for knowing where it is and how to access it should still be on the organizer for being awre prior tothe first dance...and let me note that the attack a harvest moon occurred during one of the first vw sets of the evening.... I likewise do not get why this small easy precaution cannot be taken..I too have known of 4 people stricken in the past two years...only one of whom survived...and I would love it if there were notes from that meeting such that an attorney could write a nice letter on behalf of one of these grieving parties putting on the record a reckless disregard for the safety of participants...because we all know that for many people the first sign of coronary issues is an attack that could end their life
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    at least one of the studios I have frequented has an aed, why a comp wouldn't make sure they have access to one is beyond me....just put it on the checklist....get it covered
  12. Akita

    Akita Active Member

    Amen, Larinda. AEDs can now be purchased for a little over $1000 with a 10 year+ guarantee. No-brainer to have one in the ballroom.

    Regarding what happened on the floor ... I could tell he was struggling during Quickstep and that something was not right. I feel terrible now for not getting them to stop the music and investigate. As one of the other competitors in our heat said afterward, "we need to watch out for one another". He's right because with adrenaline pumping and the competitive spirit, most of us will ignore impending personal signs of disaster that would be obvious to others.

    Given that you were "able to secure a contract with an AED distributor that would allow NDCA, USADance, and organizers to purchase AEDs at almost 50% of the list price." - it's unfathomable that USA Dance and NDCA would not take you up on this.

    It's hard to believe that my workplace (sedentary engineers) has AEDs on every floor yet we can't have them in the ballroom with olympic-style effort ongoing?
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  13. Akita

    Akita Active Member

    Could we perhaps start an separate-web-site online petition for mandatory AEDs in the ballroom to be signed by members of NDCA and USA Dance? If enough sign, the governing authorities would have to take notice. Can someone gifted in web design, put one up please?
  14. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    They are not. Hotel chains do not require them of their franchisees. Individual hotel managers may or may not choose to equip their facility with them. Anytime you enter a hotel you should ask if they have it, where it is located, and who is responsible for it. Most of the staff will stare at you with a blank look on their face and say "I dunno..."



    They are simply afraid of a civil liable suit. As it was put to me in the meeting... "My son was a cop. And anyone with two nickels can sue you." .... Ok, so what, my husband IS a cop right now! But what does that have to do with these men who are dead on the floor?

    And anyone can sue you for anything, that is true.
    They can sue you if you have an AED. They can sue you if you don't.
    So why not have one, with the potential to save John and Steves life?

    The fact is that these people on the floor, Pros such as Steve, or amateurs like John, are the VERY REASON OUR INDUSTRY EXISTS. And to blow off our responsibility to provide a safe environment to the people that are paying THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to be there.... just plain sad.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  15. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I find it unconscionable that $$s are considered before saving lives.
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I can only speak to the procedure within the NDCA. I have no idea regarding USADances and cannot comment there.

    A petition is not how NDCA rulings are made. The member organizations have to vote it into effect. NDCA registrants need to lobby the member orgs, they are the ones with power.

    I think also calling and questioning organizers, inquiring whether or not their hotel has an AED and where it is located or whether they themselves will be providing one... and stating emphatically that your safety is of utmost concern, and that as competitors you will be spending your money ONLY at competitions that provide access to AEDs and workers that are AED and CPR certified. A petition might make them blink but it won't move them to do anything. Money will.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
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  17. Akita

    Akita Active Member

    Online reviewer comment from a career paramedic on a web site selling AEDs ....

    "AEDs save lives. They are very, very easy to use. They should be in every home and office in the United States. They are made to be virtually "idiot-proof." It is EXTREMELY unlikely that you could shock someone that didn't need to be shocked. They walk you through just what to do in a cardiac arrest emergency.

    I have been a career paramedic for nearly a decade. I have managed dozens of cardiac arrests. Of the very few "saves" we have had, almost all of them involved the use of an AED before we arrived. CPR is important, but it's been overrated by TV. The #1 goal when the heart stops -- whether you're in the operating room, emergency room, in an ambulance, or lying on your living room floor -- is to defibrillate that heart in an attempt to get it to beat normally again.

    An accepted statistic is that the chances of survival decrease by about 10% for every minute the patient is without a pulse. In most places, you're lucky if you can get an ambulance crew into your home in under 8-10 minutes. Factor in the time it takes you to realize what's going on and to call 911. You do the math. Even with CPR, without an AED it's just about hopeless."
  18. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    right on. it is simple.
  19. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Firemen, Policemen, First Responders, Emergency Personnel.... they are often in the ballroom too and are trained at CPR and AEDs... if there is an AED available.

    IF.
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  20. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Maybe each competition should identify at registration who the health care providers are at each particular comp,particularly noting the ones that are skilled in emergency situations. They could also confirm the location of AED at the beginning of the comp.
    3wishes likes this.

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