Shocking Truth about Night at the Museum

Published in Huffington Post 

Over the holidays, I took my son to see Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. I liked it. It was very entertaining and did a nice job of tying the three movies together, and bringing the story to a close.

The centerpiece of the series is the secret power of the Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Akhmenrah. Every night at the museum, the Tablet glowed and all of the exhibits came to life. We got to meet endearing characters like Teddy Roosevelt, Rexy the T-Rex, Dexter the Monkey, and many others.

In this final chapter, the tablet was losing its power. It was tarnishing right before our eyes and the lives of the characters were coming to an end. To save the exhibits, the cast traveled to the British Museum to speak to Pharaoh to learn the secret of the Tablet, and restore its power.

Yes, the story is pretty far-fetched. Exhibits come to life. An Egyptian tablet possesses secret powers. You may be surprised, however, to learn that is one thing shockingly more unrealistic in this movie.

Spoiler alert: The museums’ AED devices.

The AED devices at the Museum of Natural History the British Museum were integral to the story line. Early in the movie, La, the Neanderthal (played by Ben Stiller), gets his hands on an AED device and electrocutes himself. Hilarious, right! What would you expect? He’s a Neanderthal!

After witnessing the amazing utility of the AED device, Larry (also played Ben Stiller) saves the day when he uses an AED device to electrocute Xiangliu, the nine-headed snake demon, who threatens to wipe out the cast as they travel through the British Museum to meet Pharaoh.

I’m really glad that both museums had AED devices. They should. An AED device is the only device that can save someone from sudden cardiac arrest. When a heart goes into cardiac arrest, the heartbeat becomes irregular, and the only way to correct it is to deliver a shock via an AED device. In a country where sudden cardiac arrest is the #1 cause of death of student athletes and adults, we should have these things readily available.

In fact, an AED increases a person’s chances of survival by 40 percent! On the flip side, for every minute after cardiac arrest that an AED is not used, the chances of survival decrease by up to 10 percent.

These facts don’t come through in the movie, and rightfully so. It’s a holiday blockbuster comedy, not a PSA! However, it’s important for us to realize that the electrocuting AED depicted in this movie is every bit of fantasy as the Tablet.

AED devices are smart machines. When the pads are placed on the patient’s chest, the machine diagnoses the problem. If there is a normal heart rhythm, the AED will do nothing. If there is an irregular heart rhythm, the AED will instruct the bystander to push a button and deliver a shock. If another shock is needed, the AED will instruct the bystander to do it again.

Simply, you can’t hurt anyone with an AED. You can’t kill anyone with an AED, especially a nine-headed mythical serpent.

The irony of this movie is that the AED, not the Tablet, is the object that brings people back to life. Make sure that your local museum, school, shopping mall and every other public facility has one, unless, of course, they have magical tablets. If so, you’re golden.

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