Why do we need AEDs?
Each year, more than 45,000 Canadians suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Cardiac arrest occurs when an individual’s heart stops beating in a normal rhythm. 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. Among individuals who experience SCA outside a hospital, less than 5% survive due to delays in recognizing the cardiac emergency and access to appropriate care. Early defibrillation is a vital step in reducing premature death from sudden cardiac arrest in Canada. The use of an AED and starting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) within the first three minutes of a cardiac arrest can increase the individual's chance of survival by up to 75%. For every one minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by 7-10%. [Source]
Where does the AED have to be installed?
The AED must be installed in a location that facilitates easy, rapid public access. It must be clearly visible, located in a common area and easily accessible to members of the public without assistance from staff at the facility. The AED should be stored in a case that protects it from environmental damage. Some cases are equipped with alarms to help prevent tampering and ensure the AED is only used in an emergency [Source]
How many AEDs do I have to install?
Generally, the “three-minute rule” is used to determine where and how many AEDs are required. While research indicates that AEDs are optimally beneficial if used within three-minutes of the onset of sudden cardiac arrest, it is realized that a three-minute rule of access may not always be possible. The regulation therefore requires that the owners of designated premises install one or more defibrillators as may be necessary to ensure that a member of the public witnessing a victim of cardiac arrest at any public location on the premises is able to access a defibrillator and return to the victim in less than three minutes.
Is a special license required in order to own an AED?
No, a special license is not required in order to own an AED in Canada. The act and regulation only require that the owners of designated premises register their AEDs with the AED registrar, which is the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Manitoba, so that it can notify 911 service operators about the locations of AEDs in the community. This registration requirement was instituted to increase the chances that AEDs will be located by members of the public when they are most needed in emergency situations. [Source]