Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
Each year, more than 45,000 Canadians suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Cardiac arrest occurs when an individual’s heart stops beating. The person loses consciousness and blood flow to the brain and vital organs is cut off. If the heart is not restarted within a few minutes, brain damage and death occur. Of those SCA that happen out of hospital, less than 5% survive to hospital due to delays in recognizing the cardiac emergency and access to appropriate care.
Research has demonstrated that early defibrillation is a vital step in reducing premature death from sudden cardiac arrest in Canada. The use of an AED with CPR within the first three minutes of a cardiac arrest can increase the individual's chance of survival by up to 75%.* The survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest without CPR is zero. For every one minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by 7-10%.In keeping with the laws of the province, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba has taken a leadership role in developing guidelines to implement AED programs in your community. The province of Manitoba does not consider the use of an AED as a medical act. A Medical Director is not required to purchase or use an AED.
AEDs are most useful if placed in locations that there are large groups of people or where EMS may take a long time to reach. Some sites suggested are:
The purpose of an AED program is to have quick access to provide care within minutes for a victim in cardiac arrest. AEDs are part of the Chain of Survival, and is now included in CPR training.
In order to implement an AED Program, some planning is needed and decisions to be made:
For more information on implementing an AED program in Manitoba, download the Community AED Toolkit (2MB PDF).
Once all these questions are addressed, you are ready to implement your AED Program. You will want to check into different AED companies. Each offers different units and most offer many of the services needed to put an AED program in place.
Some companies are listed here. This is not a complete list. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba does not endorse any one product.
AED Main Registry
Further information on AEDs:
Donor Waiting List
*Weisfeldt M, et al. Survival after application of AED’s before arrival of the emergency medical system. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2010, 55, 1713-20.
Reviewed December, 2012