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Subject: AED at the clubhouse or pool
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05/17/2006 8:22 AM  
I am a new member of HOATalk.

Does anyone have any experience with and sorted through liability issues with having an AED at the HOA owned clubhouse and/or pool/tennis courts.

We are a GA HOA. Our very active women's club would like to buy an AED for the community facilities, which is great. Our attornies, of course, are much less enthusiastic, stating increased liability. All the examples I have seen about increased liability are for NOT having an AED .... however all those examples are also for isolated environments (an airplane - where a Dr. or EMT may not be available) or places that might expect users to have sudden cardiac arrest (health clubs, et cetera).

I have not been able to find any HOAs that have bought and managed one.

Any experiences and decisions you've made would be helpful. If you have bought an AED, I would much appreciate learning how you implemented it (GA has specific laws about maintenance, training, and access that make it cumbersome to deploy in a semi-public space such as a HOA pool or tennis courts).

Thanks much for your thoughts.



05/17/2006 3:15 PM  
AED: Automated External Defibrillator

Sounds like a nice idea, but it does raise lots of questions. Buying the unit is just the start....Do you have lifeguards and if so, will they all be trained on it? Who will guarantee that maintenance is up to date on the unit and continuing education occurs? How will you ensure the unit is accessible to the right people and not the wrong ones (e.g. children that may play with it)? What if it's broken or fast will you replace it, since everyone now expects it to be there?

Interestingly, liability seems the biggest barrier to widespread adoption of these units, not just in HOAs. So much so that Medtronic offers a liability protection program:

Also have a look here for discussion of state laws:

It seems the laws favor AEDs with immunity for people that use them (good samaritan laws). But it also seems that negligence of the owner of the device due to lack of maintenance, lack of access or lack of training of personnel could still be an issue.

Here's a quote from a seller of AEDs (
"Unfortunately, in the early years of AED program development, many AEDs were sold with little or no thought to issues of medical control, continuing education and quality assurance. For an AED to have its anticipated benefit it must be part of a comprehensive incident response program."

That last sentence says it all. Your goal of helping people can only be met with the right commitment and follow up after buying the device. With many HOAs stretched thin for time and this being outside the norm for MCs too, can your HOA commit to this ongoing responsibility? If not, then the AED may not help people as much as you'd like.

I'd listen to the attorney's advice and ponder long and hard before proceeding., A free service of
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05/18/2006 6:41 AM  
Our elementary PTA was just faced with a request to fund one for our school and we turned it down. All the schools in the district are receiving one eventually so there will be one and the school district has already dealt with the liability issues. Therefore we feel the monies should come from the district, not the PTA. However our big issues are training of individuals who will use it, accessibility to the unit, upkeep and maintenance.
A personal issue of mine is this: Do I really want someone who isn't trained to grab one of these units because it is there and misuse it on my child or myself?
The district claims there will be detailed instructions for use with the unit. Sure, in an emergency how many people will stop to read the details or just grab the unit and start juicing the person's chest? And what if the person's chest has a pacemaker in it? or whatever? See, I don't even know what I am talking about here.


05/18/2006 11:02 AM  
Those are all great questions. I work within an athletic department and our AED's are only accessible by those who have been trained on them and our head athletic trainer is responsible for them. I would see if there was some entity you could contract with for maintenance and training to take some of the liability off of you. As with anything in life there is always a chance of getting sued no matter what you do.


05/19/2006 7:47 AM  
Thanks for all of your thoughts. I will post what we end up doing. STill have not heard of or from any HOAs that have bought and used an AED.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > AED at the clubhouse or pool

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