CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, NL, April 21 /CNW/ - Today Prime Minister Stephen
Harper announced a $10 million plan to fund life-saving automated
external defibrillators and related training in hockey arenas and
community recreation centres 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."
Also at the Prime Minister's announcement was a cardiac arrest survivor
who spoke about how CPR and a defibrillator saved his life after he
collapsed during a hockey game.
Defibrillators 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 lay public.
Up to 85 per cent of all cardiac arrests occur in public settings or
homes. Less than five per cent of victims who have a cardiac arrest
outside of hospital survive. The early use of a defibrillator along
with CPR before the arrival of emergency services can increase the
individual's chance of survival by up to 75 per cent. This is critical,
given that the survival rate decreases seven to 10 per cent with every
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has been advocating for an increased
number of defibrillators and training in communities to give Canadians
the tools and knowledge they need to respond in the event of a cardiac
"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."
As many as 45,000 cardiac arrests occur each year. That is about one
every 12 minutes.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads
in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact
through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion
of healthy living, and advocacy. (heartandstroke.ca)
SOURCE HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION OF CANADA
For further information:
Eileen Melnick McCarthy
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
613.569.4361 x 318