Defibrillators Everywhere Soon

By: Theresa Oswald, MLA for Seine River

As published in The Lance

April 23, 2013

In less than a year, Manitoba will be the first province in Canada to require life-saving heart defibrillators in public facilities such as schools, arenas, gyms and airports thanks to groundbreaking legislation passed by the Manitoba government.

This means you and your family will start to see defibrillators in more places around our community in the weeks and months ahead, which could mean the difference between life and death to someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

To help with the process, our government provided $1.3 million to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Manitoba to install 1,000 defibrillators in public facilities, including the following schools and athletic facilities in our community:

  • St. Vital Mustangs Football Club

  • YMCA fitness centre on Fermor

  • Dakota Collegiate

  • Glenlawn Collegiate

  • Collège Jeanne-Sauvé

  • Dr. Raj Pandey Hindu Centre

  • Centre scolaire Léo Rémillard

  • École Christine-Lespérance

  • École Julie-Riel

  • H.S. Paul School

  • Highbury School

  • Samuel Burland School

We never know when or where cardiac arrest will strike, but we do know that if a defibrillator is close at hand the chance of survival is increased by almost 75%.

This means if you or a loved one is nearby when cardiac arrest strikes, you can call 911 for an ambulance staffed with highly trained paramedics, and also find out if a defibrillator is available nearby.

A defibrillator delivers an electric shock to restart a stopped heart and is programmed to detect if a person is having an irregular heart rhythm that indicates potential cardiac arrest.

The device offers step-by-step instructions so training is not required. If it does not detect a shockable heart rhythm, the machine does not deliver a shock.

The province of Manitoba was the first in the country to develop legislation that will require high-traffic public facilities like schools, hockey arenas, community centres, fitness clubs and curling rinks to have a defibrillator on site.