Advocates continue pushing for more AEDs and more awareness of how to use them
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- When it comes to cardiac arrest every minute matters.
As we saw at the Euro Cup this weekend when football player Christian Eriksen suddenly collapsed on the field, quick action can make the difference between life and death.
Medics rushed in to bring him back from the brink by using a combination of CPR and a defibrillator to save his life.
"He was gone, and we did cardiac resuscitation and we got him back after one defib, so that's quite fast," Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen said Sunday.
David Fowlie of Dartmouth says Eriksen was very fortunate. His own son Michael, the picture of health at 28-years-old, passed away after going into cardiac arrest while cycling on Purcells Cove Road in Halifax in 2014.
He has been advocating for better access to automated external defibrillators -- or AEDs -- and says there has been some progress made in Nova Scotia.
"Currently, we have a registry in Nova Scotia indicating the number of AEDs and the locations of AEDs however we need far more AEDs than what we have right now," Fowlie said.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, every year an estimated 35,000 cardiac arrests happen in Canada.
It can happen at any age, at any time -- and to people of all fitness levels -- without any warning.
Only one in 10 people survive those that happen at home or in public places, but the chances of survival double with immediate action.
"The Heart and Stroke Foundation would like to see AEDs as prevalent as fire extinguishers in public places," said Karen Chapple, Atlantic resuscitation program manager with the Foundation. "It's just to help bringing awareness that AEDs can save a life."
In New Brunswick, there is a provincial defibrillator registry which is voluntary, and has over 850 now registered.
Since 2014, there have been 34 cardiac arrest survivors in New Brunswick who have been saved by bystanders.
"It's so important for folks to recognize the emergency exists, call 91-1, start CPR and use the AED," said Mary-Lou Price, who runs the public access defibrillation program in New Brunswick.