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IMPORTANT NOTICE
July 11, 2012

Attention: Mayors, Councillors & CAOs

New Public Access to Defibrillation program makes municipalities safer


A new online database of all Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices could make Alberta municipalities safer by promoting use of the AEDs to increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.

The Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) program monitors and tracks the locations and maintenance contacts of all registered AEDs and links this information to the provincial 911 dispatch system.

The goal is to educate and empower the public to:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of a cardiac emergency
  • Call 911 – Emergency Medical Services for help
  • Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Use an AED
  • Help ensure that AEDs are ready for use

Organizations are encouraged to voluntarily place a device in their buildings to improve the chances of public heart attack survival. Many municipalities in Alberta have already been active in ensuring that their community facilities have these devices and trained responders.

Municipalities are encouraged to contact either a device manufacturer or an AED vendor to assist them in determining the most appropriate emergency response equipment for their needs. See Find out more below.

PAD is one of the first province-wide programs of its kind in Canada. It is operated by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department of Alberta Health Services.

The benefits of having an AED
When a person becomes a victim to sudden cardiac arrest, every second counts. The likelihood of surviving a cardiac arrest increases dramatically with early activation of CPR along with the use of an AED.

An AED is a portable electric device, which can deliver a therapeutic electrical shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest, allowing the heart to restart. Defibrillators have been used for years by doctors, nurses and EMS as a life-saving tool. Thanks to advances in computer processing, the AED has put this technology in the hands of the public who have minimal or no medical training.

AEDs are very safe to use as they can only provide a delivery of energy to certain fatal cardiac rhythms and will only discharge during these times. Care must be taken not to touch the patient during the shock phase. There is no danger of the AED discharging during any other time.

The placement of an AED in areas where people gather or at highest risk can reduce the time delay in providing this lifesaving measure. Combined with CPR, the use of an AED may increase the likelihood of saving a person’s life by 75 per cent or more over CPR alone.

Find out more
To get answers to your questions, find a manufacturer or vendors near you please contact the PAD Coordinator at 1.866.786.1440.

You can also visit the website.

Thank you.

Sue Bohaichuk
Executive Officer, Advocacy

Zohreh Saher
Research Analyst

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