The West Australian, 4th November 2006, 6:00 WST, Tiffany Laurie
The heart attack which killed sports commentator Wally Foreman this week has sparked calls for gyms to carry defibrillators.
Medical experts believe the machines, which are used to jumpstart people?s hearts, should be available at health clubs as more middleaged men push themselves in the fight to keep fit.
Tributes continued to flow yesterday for Mr Foreman, 58, who died two days after suffering a massive heart attack while jogging on a treadmill at an Osborne Park gym on Tuesday.
Cardiologist Keith Woollard said health clubs should follow the lead of big shopping centres, sporting grounds and airlines and stock resuscitation equipment. He said most people exercising at gyms were of an age when heart attacks were a real possibility. Minimising the time between a person?s collapse and defibrillation was the overriding factor in their survival.
?Defibrillation equipment has become incredibly cheap at $3000, which is less than a new treadmill would cost,? he said.
Australian Medical Association WA president Geoff Dobbs said he was reluctant to call for resuscitation equipment to be compulsory for health clubs. But if owners were unwilling to be responsible it should be made a condition of their licence.
Heart Foundation chief executive Maurice Swanson said Mr Foreman?s death had raised awareness of the risks and benefits of regular physical activity. More than 80 per cent of all new cases of heart attack could be attributed to smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and poor diet.
A passionate crusader for West Australian athletes, coaches, sport
an articulate and responsible commentator
and a gem of a man.
Rest in peace Wally