Canadian PM Urges $10 Million for Automated External Defibrillators

Canadian Prime Minister Harper

April 22, 2011 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's election promise of a $10 million plan to fund life-saving automated external defibrillators (AED)  for hockey arenas and recreation centers  follows the death of a 38-year-old man in Ottawa who suffered cardiac arrest while playing hockey in a local school's gymnasium. No AED was present at the scene. Bystanders administered CPR and called the paramedics, who also attempted to revive the man but were unsuccessful.

The same evening, a 52-year-old man who was playing hockey at the Tom Brown Arena in Ottawa also collapsed from cardiac arrest but survived. A ZOLL AED Plus was available and used by arena staff, which may have contributed to his recovery.

The average survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year is 7%.1 If an AED is used by a bystander, the rate increases to 38%.2   

1 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2009 Update. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association, 2009.
2 Weisfeldt ML, Sitlani CM, Ornato JP, et al., on behalf of the ROC Investigato itrs. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010;55:1713-17.

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