Toronto EMS Safe City Program and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Team up to
Save a Man's Life during Heart Month

TORONTO, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - A 62 year-old Toronto man is alive today thanks to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Cardiac Safe City Public Access Defibrillator Program.

On February 1st, Nick Martino collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest while playing his regularly scheduled Monday hockey game at Centennial Park Arena in Etobicoke. Teammate, Jacques Hins, a retired Toronto EMS paramedic initiated CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) while instructing another teammate and community center staff to call 9-1-1 and retrieve the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). A shock was administered and the patient regained vital signs. He was then transported by Toronto EMS paramedics to Etobicoke General Hospital.

The placement of the AED at Centennial Park Arena and the training of arena staff were made possible by public funds through Toronto EMS as well as the Heart&Stroke Restart a Heart, a Life Program and the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund.

"Thanks to funding from our partners and generous individual donations, especially during February, Heart Month, we have been able to allocate 2,795 AED units in communities across the province," says David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. "This life saved is a testament to what happens when individuals in the community learn CPR, and use an AED when it is within reach."

"In cases of cardiac arrest, the early use of CPR and AEDs can make the difference between life and death," said Toronto Emergency Medical Services' Chief Bruce Farr. "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 Toronto EMS team who built the Cardiac Safe City program that assisted in saving this man's life - a testament to training people and placing defibrillators in public places."

"As emergency physicians we know first hand how successful immediate CPR or AED intervention can be in helping to save lives and in reducing the impact of cardiac arrest on patients and their families," said Dr. Naveed Mohammad, Chief of Emergency Medicine at William Osler Health System. "Minutes become very precious as immediate resuscitation or defibrillation can often prevent a fatality or longer-term health problems following a cardiac event."

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 can dramatically improve cardiac arrest survival rates by more than 50 per cent.

Ontario has the largest number of publicly allocated Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Canada and over 200 AEDs are located in the Toronto area.

For more information on Toronto EMS' Cardiac Safe City Program visit:

http://www.cardiacsafecity.org/

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; Kim McKinnon, Coordinator Public Information & Media, Toronto Emergency Medical Services, (416) 392-2255 or kmckinn2@toronto.ca

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Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

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TORONTO EMS

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