New Brunswick calling for more access to life-saving defibrillators
In recent years, automated external defibrillators have become a common sight in public placesin the Maritimes, especially arenas and other recreational facilities.
In New Brunswick alone, there are nine known cases of lives being saved through the provinces Public Access Defibrillation Program, also known as P.A.D.
Now, there's a call for more than the 400 already available life-saving machines.
The defibrillators were first introduced in Riverview, New Brunswick 10 years ago.
“At that time, they wanted to do what they could for residents who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest. They recognized that public access defibrillation was a key component in that chain of survival,” says Robin True of the Riverview Fire Department.
The odds of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases by 10% for each minute the person goes without treatment.
Under P.A.D., 9-1-1 operators know exactly where registered A.E.D.'s are in any given building.
“They know exactly where it is; they say ‘Send somebody for it, it’s by the office, by the Coke machine, by the top of the stairs. Go get it and bring it to the patient’,” says one Moncton paramedic. “Really the only way to help these people, and to resuscitate them, is if we do it right away. We're not there, but the public is.”
Bill Wisemanof Moncton says his life was saved by a defibrillator while he and his friends were playing pick-up hockey. Wiseman said he felt faint then collapsed at the bench.
“Within probably a minute, minute and a half, we had the A.E.D. on his chest. We gave him a shock and did C.P.R. and rescue breaths, and next thing you know, he's coughing and we know he's breathing again,” says Wiseman’s friend Ian MacDiarmid.
Wiseman’s friends say he's now back to living a normal life.
Wall mounted automated external defibrillators cost up to $2,000. Advocates say it’s a small price to pay for a device that’s a proven lifesaver.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.