Each year, more than 40,000 Canadians have a sudden cardiac arrest. This means their heart stops beating. The person loses consciousness and blood flow to the brain and vital organs is cut off. If the heart is not restarted within a few minutes, brain damage and death occur. When cardiac arrest happens outside of a hospital, less than one in 10 people survive. But performing CPR right away and using an AED more than doubles their chances of survival.
What is an AED?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device used to reset a heart that has stopped beating effectively. It does this by analyzing and looking for shockable heart rhythms, then delivering that shock if needed. An AED is safe and simple to use. Just turn it on and follow the voice prompts.
Heart & Stroke and AEDs
In keeping with the laws of the province, Heart & Stroke in Manitoba led development of guidelines to implement AED programs in your community. The province does not consider the use of an AED as a medical act. A medical director is not required to purchase or use an AED.
Does your facility need an AED?
AEDs are most useful if placed in locations where large groups of people gather, or where emergency medical services (EMS) may take a long time to reach. Some sites suggested are:
- High-rise apartment blocks or businesses
- Central, easy access locations in remote areas
- Major sports, recreation or community facilities.
To see if your facility is designated in the legislation as requiring an AED, click here to view the provincial regulations.
Planning your AED program
Use the toolkit to help you answer these questions:
- What type or model of AED will you need, and how many?
- Will the AED be accessed by anyone, or just by a trained person?
- Will it be in a secured location?
- Who will maintain the AED, and how will it be maintained?
- Who will be trained to use the AED?
- How will people locate a trained person?
- Who is responsible for calling EMS?
- After an AED is used, who will be responsible for collecting the data from the unit?
- How will you fund the program, and what is your budget?
Once these questions are addressed, you are ready to implement your AED program. You will want to check with a range of AED companies as each offers different units. Most offer many of the services needed to put an AED program in place.
You'll find some companies on this list (PDF). This is not a complete list. Heart & Stroke in Manitoba does not endorse any one product.
How to register your AED
Once you have an AED in place, it is vital that you register it with the Heart & Stroke AED Registry. This helps emergency responders know where to find your AED, and enables them to assist 9-1-1 callers to locate the device in an emergency. Registering your AED can mean the difference between life and death.
Please note: Legislation requires new AED installations to be registered within 30 days; any changes must be reported within 15 days.