HEART MONTH: AED Save Story

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in Niagara-on-the-Lake made the smart decision to purchase an AED unit for their building. This decision ended up saving a person’s life…

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One day a gentleman suddenly collapsed on the street outside of OPG & went into cardiac arrest. Fortunately, there was a bystander nearby who witnessed the event & immediately called 911. EMS dispatch informed him that there was an AED located inside OPG & instructed him to begin CPR, while an OPG employee was directed to retrieve the unit. EMS was able to point out the exact location of the unit & as a result the employee was able to locate it quickly & bring it outside. Thanks to quick acting bystanders, EMS dispatch, early CPR & early access to an AED, we have yet another save story! The gentleman survived this cardiac emergency & when EMS arrived to the scene, he was conscious & stable. This story shows first hand, the importance of having an AED located nearby & knowing the precise location of the device, not only for the workers in OPG, but for bystanders as well.

It’s a well-known fact that timely use of a defibrillator can save a life. Public access defibrillators (PAD) are placed throughout our communities & are available for public use. These devices can now be found pretty much everywhere – from local arenas & banquet halls to pharmacies & grocery stores. But could you find one when you needed it? It is essential that people are aware of the location of these devices throughout the community so that they can retrieve them as soon as possible in an emergency cardiac situation, as these are timed events & EVERY MINUTE COUNTS! With more AEDs in the community, everyday citizens become part of the emergency response system, increasing the likelihood that first responders can save a life!

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The challenge is to continue to raise awareness of the fact that these devices are available to the public & their precise location, to ensure timely retrieval of them in an emergency. This is where Heart Niagara & Niagara EMS comes in! Heart Niagara has been working with EMS to increase quick access to AEDs in communities across Niagara through the Niagara AED Registry, which is a centralized, online registry that provides Niagara residents & EMS personnel with information about where these life-saving devices are located in their own communities & provides directions on how to retrieve them. The registry contains a list of all publicly-available AEDs within Niagara & is a vital link in the timely retrieval of defibrillators –
the closer it is, the better!!

We are committed to collecting location information from spaces with AEDs & are using this information to update & improve the registry on an ongoing basis. To date, we have registered nearly 800 AEDs in the registry & it is only expected to grow as more communities participate. The registry is fundamental in increasing response time for cardiac emergencies & will improve the chance of survival… Do you have a save story? Share your AED experience with us!

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