Should hotels be required to have AEDs?

If your heart goes into ventricular fibrillation in a hotel, shouldn’t an automatic external defibrillator (AED) be on hand within minutes?

Surprisingly, that isn’t the case in the majority of hotels. A recent story in the WSJ points to the fact that no more than 20 percent of hotels have such devices.

The reason? Liability, and the questions surrounding Good Samaritan laws, which some lawyers say, aren’t adequate. Many hotel chains don’t want to go through the time and financial cost of defending a lawsuit, even if it does eventually get dismissed in court.

There should be no reason why every hotel cannot have access to an AED, particularly in fitness centers. Better shielding Good Samaritans from liability, as well as reducing the legal obstacles preventing hotels from obtaining AEDs will go a long way to help automatic defibrillators be universally on hand.