Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has initiated a $10 million plan to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in hockey arenas and recreation centers across Canada.
"Defibrillator placement and training are essential steps in helping Canadians save lives," says Bobbe Wood, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "This is an important policy recommendation which was identified in the Canadian Heart Health Action Plan."
While 85 percent of all cardiac arrest cases occur in public settings or in the home, less than 5 percent of victims who experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. AED use in combination with CPR prior to hospital care can increase a patient’s survival by 75 percent.
“This is critical, given that the survival rate decreases 7 to 10 percent with every passing minute,” according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
"The time between the onset of a cardiac arrest and the use of CPR and a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death," says Wood. "These machines should be as readily available in Canadian communities as fire extinguishers--they are lifesavers."