Heart and Stroke Foundation Receives $10 Million from Harper Government to Save Lives

Heart and Stroke Foundation receives $10 million from Government of Canada to place life-saving AEDs in arenas across Canada (Dr. Doug Clement, Chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Prime Minister Stephen Harper) (CNW Group/HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION)

-- The Foundation to place automated external defibrillators in arenas across Canada --

SASKATOON, Feb. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation was pleased to join Prime Minister Stephen Harper today as he announced funding to place life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in hockey arenas and community recreation centres across Canada.

In April 2011, the Government of Canada announced a $10 million dollar plan for AED placement over four years. Today's announcement confirms the government's commitment for funding that will allow the Foundation to coordinate the installation and training of AEDs starting in Spring 2013.

"We applaud the government for its commitment to AEDs. It has been proven countless times that AEDs and CPR save lives," says David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada." Our goal is for every Canadian to learn CPR and how to use an AED.  Ensuring that all public facilities have access to an AED would not be possible without the support of governments and private donors."

AEDs are electronic devices used to restart a person's heart that has stopped beating. They are safe, easy to use, and can be operated effectively by the public. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can help restore blood flow to someone suffering cardiac arrest for a short time until advanced medical care arrives.

"Up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada - that is about one every 12 minutes," says Sculthorpe. "On average only five per cent of people who experience a cardiac arrest survive. With increased public access to AEDs and early access to CPR, the lives of thousands of Canadians could be saved every year."

Most cardiac arrests occur in homes and public places, and many are witnessed by a family member, co-worker or friend. Performing CPR and using an AED before emergency medical services arrive can increase the chance of survival by 75 per cent.

NHL hockey player Brett MacLean, 23, was revived by an AED last July after he suffered a cardiac arrest at a pick-up hockey game. "The AED saved my life, and it's important for people to be trained," said MacLean. "You never know when you might need it; it could happen to anyone, anywhere."

The Foundation, with partners, trains approximately 1.6 million people every year in CPR and AED use. Although training is important AEDs are still safe and easy to use by the general public.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy. Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen. Heartandstroke.ca

This February, the Foundation is asking all Canadians to Make Health Last by taking action today to give themselves, their friends and families longer, healthier, fuller lives. Take the Heart&Stroke risk assessment today at makehealthlast.ca.

Image with caption: "Heart and Stroke Foundation receives $10 million from Government of Canada to place life-saving AEDs in arenas across Canada (Dr. Doug Clement, Chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Prime Minister Stephen Harper) (CNW Group/HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130221_C7456_PHOTO_EN_23965.jpg

SOURCE: HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION

For further information:

Media inquiries:
Jane-Diane Fraser
Heart and Stroke Foundation
jfraser@hsf.ca
613-569-4361 x273