On June 4, 2022 a teenage passenger stepped on to an American Airlines flight and did not walk off. He suffered from Sudden Cardiac Arrest during the flight, and the AED on board that could have saved his life, was not charged.  

The family has now brought a lawsuit against American Airlines for failing to maintain their AED, and failing to train their employees with basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) technique. 

A life was lost that may have been saved. So, what lessons can we learn from this tragic event to be sure that it never happens again?  

Just having an AED is not enough 

AEDs must be properly maintained, and the batteries and electrode pads must stay within their expiration dates to work properly. To ensure AEDs stay ready, organizations should have someone who is responsible for the AEDs and a system that helps manage all aspects of their AED program.  

Laws should also be followed that keep AEDs in compliance. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires at least one AED on all airplanes and if the AED is inoperative, the plane is not cleared for take-off. Similar to the FAA, states have different laws surrounding AEDs and different requirements for different types of businesses.  

Medical direction is also an important component of AED Management. AEDs are Class III medical devices and require a prescription.  

People must be empowered to act. 

Before an AED arrives at the scene of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, CPR should be started promptly. If performed immediately, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival. It is imperative to have a team trained and certified on CPR and AEDs. The AED is useless without human interaction to operate the machine.  

Basic Recommended Checks are Not Enough. 

Part of the FAA guidelines state that AEDs should be inspected according to manufacturer recommendations. But the question becomes- are the recommended checks too far apart? 

These recommendations vary by AED and can be anywhere from once-a-month, to every 3 months. So, what happens if your AED fails mid-month? Or worse, someone fails to check it? AEDs should be checked as frequently as possible, ensuring that it is always ready to shock.  

You need a cardiac emergency plan. 

To be fully prepared, people and technology must all come together to save lives and protect your organization. A comprehensive plan must be in place to make sure your equipment, organization, people and culture are all ready in case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  

RescueStat provides that comprehensive solution with our program management software, remote monitoring technology, virtual training and free empowerment resources.  

Apollo Program Management alerts you when your AED battery and electrode pads are due to expire. ApolloPM also includes Physician Oversight/Medical Direction. Should the AED ever be used in a Sudden Cardiac Arrest event, our Medical Director will review the event and provide documentation of the AED event for the customer’s records, validating the management of the AED program. It also includes an AED Law Center to help organizations stay in compliance.  

Scout Remote Monitoring System remotely checks your AED on a daily or weekly basis, ensuring that your AED is checked as frequently as possible and is ready to shock. 

Vera Training Solutions is the easiest way to get CPR and AED trained online. Virtual training is a convenient and cost-effective way to empower your team to act in an emergency.  

Eva Empowerment Resources gives you the tools you need to create a Culture of First Responders™ in your organization.  


Is your organization ready? Download our free Readiness Checklist to find out.