Responding to Medical Emergencies in Your Theater

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Medical Emergencies in Your Theater Don’t Have to be a Nightmare

Medical emergencies, they come without warning and can happen anywhere. Heart attack, stroke, seizures, inability to walk, loss of sight, anything can happen. Movie theaters and cinemas aren’t immune to the possibility just because they are family friendly past time. Prepare your staff for responding to medical emergencies in your theater with these tips.


Training is vital for an effective response to medical emergencies in your theater. All staff should be trained to use all life-saving equipment such as AEDs, be trained in CPR and First Aid, and know how to calmly respond to these situations. Training goes beyond CPR though, staff also need to be trained on their roles and responsibilities. One person needs to dial 9-1-1, one person needsmedical emergencies in your theater to show responders where the victim is, one needs to notify management, and others need to evacuate the area, bring up the lights, and keep others a safe distance away.

Medical Supply Location

The location of your theaters medical supplies, first aid kits, and AEDs is critical to an efficient response. Staff should not have to fumble around looking for a key, or getting a ladder to reach a first aid kit that is placed too high. Instead these supplies should be kept in a safe, easily accessible, and visible area to reduce response time. Not only should they be easy to reach, they should also be well stocked and frequently inspected. First aid kits should always have multiple pairs of hypoallergenic gloves and plenty of bandages, gauze, etc. A good rule of thumb is to always check and restock supplies after they are used, otherwise, once a month on a regular schedule.


These life-saving and proven devices should be present in your theater. If you have more than one floor, keep at least one AED on each level of your theater. When an AED is used, ensure you change the defibrillator pads for the next use. To simplify this, keep extra pads in the box and replace as necessary.

 Emergency Chain of Command

One of the most important aspects of responding to a medical emergency is for different people to have different responsibilities. In the event of a medical emergency, someone will need to notify management, someone will need to call 9-1-1, and another person should be responsible for bringing the lights up (if in a theater room). Don’t forget to assign staff to meet responders at the door and show them where the victim is. Management will be responsible for getting personal information and following up on where they are being taken, and getting other moviegoers to safety.

It may not seem like it, but medical emergencies are more common than you’d think at places like movie theaters. Without proper training and knowledge, a medical emergency can quickly turn into a medical nightmare for management and other staff. Follow these tips for reduced response time and a more effective reaction to medical emergencies in your theater.

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