The premier of Ontario has announced a $10 million fund to deploy automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the province. Premier Dalton McGinty said the$10 million in Ontario AED funding will focus on placing AEDs in public access settings such as hockey arenas, recreation centres and high-activity schools.
The Ontario AED funding follows on an April announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper of a $10 million national AED fund to place AEDs in hockey arenas and recreation centers across the country.
According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation’s position statement, as many as 45,000 Canadians die from sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) each year. Sudden cardiac arrest is also the leading cause of death in young athletes during sports. The availability and use of AEDs in recreational facilities such as sports arenas has been shown todramatically increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest. As a result, hockey arenas in Canada and the U.S. have been a focus of defibrillator placement programs.
McGinty’s announcement “brings us one step closer to our dream of seeing life-saving AEDs become as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario,” said David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
Survival from sudden cardiac arrest decreases by 7 percent to 10 percent for each minute that passes without defibrillation. Defibrillation, when used in conjunction with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the first three minutes, lifts the chance of survival to 70 percent.