Magazine article Security Management

Heartfelt Improvement

Magazine article Security Management

Heartfelt Improvement

Article excerpt

About a year ago, a forty-seven-year-old employee at the Stardust hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, went into cardiac arrest. Security officers responded immediately by calling 911 and administering CPR until paramedics arrived. Though officers did all they could given the technology at the time, the employee died. Were the same event to occur today, the outcome might be different thanks to the recent advent of portable battery-operated defibrillators that can be used by nonmedical personnel.

Stan Smith, director of risk management for Boyd Gaming Corporation, decided to make the defibrillators part of his security team's tools after local emergency personnel approached him about the potential benefits. Clark County emergency and fire officials had compiled statistics covering the previous eighteen months showing that of the 756 people who went into cardiac arrest in the Las Vegas area, only 120 survived. The low survival rate, determined the emergency personnel, was due to the response time. The study concluded that if each person had been treated with a defibrillator, the survival rate would have exceeded 50 percent.

Smith, who oversees security at Boyd's twelve casino properties, took the statistics and his concerns to senior management. While seven of the company' s properties are in Las Vegas, some are located in rural areas, up to thirty miles from the nearest hospital, adding to the need for a portable defibrillator. Management agreed to a program complete with training for each of Boyd's 400 security officers and more than $100,000 in defibrillators for the company's many casinos. "When we looked at the statistics," says Smith, "we knew this was the right thing to do for our customers and employees."

Smith researched several companies that manufacture defibrillators and requested references from local emergency officials. He chose the Lifepak 500, produced by Physio-Control Corporation in Redmond, Washington. The Lifepak is about the size of a laptop computer and weighs approximately eight pounds.

Instead of paddles, the portable defibrillator has two adhesive electrodes. One is placed on the victim's right collarbone and the other beneath the left armpit. After placing the electrodes, the officer then turns on the defibrillator. If the officer has placed the electrodes correctly, an electronic voice will instruct the officer to push the "analyze" button on the unit. If the officer has not placed the electrodes correctly, the voice will tell the officer to check the connection. …

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