There 40,000 cardiac arrests in Canada every year, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. That’s why the non-profit is making Automated External Defibrillators available in public places.
Automated External Defibrillators, AED’s, are portable devices that work automatically to help a person in cardiac arrest.
Laine Smith has worked with BC Emergency Health Services for almost thirty years.
“It’s been proven that if we get an AED and CPR in the first few minutes we can actually double the survival rates of our patients.”
He’s been there when an AED has saved a life.
“It was absolutely fantastic. We were doing CPR, we hooked the AED up, we shocked the guy and he woke up and said what happened and we said everything’s good, we’re looking after you. ”
The Public Access to Defibrillation Program is a partnership with the provincial government, heart and stroke, and emergency health services. The Heart and Stroke’s Lori Cruddas explains the programs objective is to install these devices in all public facilities.
“Most cardiac arrests happen in the home or when you’re out in public. They don’t happen when someones in a health facility. So having public access to an AED will increase the survivor rate for somebody who does have a sudden cardiac arrest.”
There are 15 AED’s in the city. Eleven on Northern Health Buses and 4 in organizations around town. The Prince George Golf and Curling Club is just one of the organizations in the city that has successfully applied for an AED. Club Manager Don McDermid says it’s in a central location and ready for when an emergency.
“We’ve located it within the building, it’s in between the curling rink and the golf course itself. With the proximity to the curling rink we can have a response within several minutes which is key to saving a life.”
According to the heart and stroke foundation, 2000 British Columbian’s will die each year from a heart attack. The hope is that by installing these devices in public places, that number will go down. Organizations can apply to have one installed at no cost.