Ottawa Paramedic Service and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Team up to Save
a Life

TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - A 20 year-old Ottawa man is alive today thanks to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and Ottawa Paramedic Service's Public Access Defibrillator Program.

On Saturday April 24, a 20-year-old man collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest while playing ball hockey at the R.J. Kennedy Memorial Arena in Cumberland, Ontario. Off-duty Ottawa paramedic, Roch Leduc, who was watching the game rushed from the stands to start CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) while arena staff called 9-1-1 and retrieved the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The life-saving machine was applied, and an initial shock was administered, followed by CPR. After the second shock was delivered, followed by another cycle of CPR, the young man began to breathe on his own. By the time paramedics arrived, the young man was conscious. He was stabilized and transported to a local hospital where he is reported to be doing well.

The placement of the AED at R.J. Kennedy Memorial Arena and the training of the arena staff were made possible by contributions from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and The Frank Cowan Foundation to the Heart&Stroke Restart a Heart, a Life Program and the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund, and our partnership with the Ottawa Paramedic Service Public Access Defibrillator Program.

"Thanks to our partners we have been able to allocate 2,795 AED units in communities across the province to date," says David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. "With the help of individuals, community groups and funding partners, like The Frank Cowan Foundation, and the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, one day AEDs will become as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario, to save lives."

Chief Anthony Di Monte of the Ottawa Paramedic Service echoes Mr. Sculthorpe's statement. "In cases of cardiac arrest, the early use of CPR and AEDs can make the difference between life and death," said Chief Di Monte. "We need community members to perform these life-saving skills before our paramedics arrive, to ensure the best possible chance of survival. I am very proud of the Ottawa Paramedic Service's PPAD (Paramedic Public Access Defibrillator program) that assisted in saving this man's life. With a network of trained citizens and easy access to an AED, you get great results."

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 84 per cent of cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places and almost half are witnessed by a family member or friend. In Ontario alone, approximately 7,000 out-of hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually. The survival rate of victims for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a dismal five per cent. However, CPR performed by a bystander while paramedics are on the way doubles a person's chances of being successfully resuscitated. Furthermore, defibrillation when used in conjunction with CPR in the first few minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest, can dramatically improve survival rates by more than 75 per cent.

Ontario has the largest number of publicly allocated Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Canada. The Ottawa Paramedic Service boasts of one of the largest AED programs in North America with 1,100 AEDs placed in all of the city's emergency response vehicles and in public and commercial buildings throughout the city.

For more information on the Heart&Stroke Restart a Heart, a Life Program and the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund visit: www.heartandstroke.ca/restart.

SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Sharon Edwards, Associate Manager, Public Relations, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, (416) 489-7111 x482 or sedwards@hsf.on.ca; J.P. Trottier, Public Information Officer, Ottawa Paramedic Service, (613) 795-6902 or jean-pierre.trottier@ottawa.ca

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Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

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