Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

The past couple of weeks, we have told you about CPR classes we hosted across the country for our Twitter friends for CPR Month. During each class, we demonstrated that learning CPR is fun and easy to do and – most importantly – can give you the skills to help save a life.

We don’t like to think of emergencies happening but that doesn’t mean they won’t. This is why learning CPR is so important. By taking the time to learn, you will know how to act in that moment.

This point has been driven home this past week with stories in the Ottawa media about three lives being saved – each one because someone used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) combined with performing CPR.  The first incident happened on Tuesday, when a 66-year-old man collapsed while suffering a heart attack at a curling rink. His pulse was brought back because someone used an AED and performed CPR. Two days later, the same course of action was taken when a 79 year-old went into cardiac arrest while playing tennis at the West Ottawa Tennis Club. The following day, another man collapsed while playing hockey. Unable to feel a pulse, an off-duty firefighter used an AED and performed CPR, saving the 61-year-old man’s life.

Coincidentally, another life was saved in Ottawa the week prior, on November 19, when a 41 year-old collapsed while also playing hockey and was revived with an AED.

Over 50,000 Canadians die of coronary disease every year and 70 per cent of cardiac arrests happen at home. Effective bystander CPR, when used in conjunction with an AED and administered immediately following cardiac arrest, can double a person’s chance of survival. The wonderful thing about AEDs is that they are so simple that anyone can use them – just turn it on and follow the instructions given to you.

To all the people involved in saving the four lives in Ottawa, well done!

For more information on Red Cross CPR and First Aid course offerings, click here.