VANCOUVER--A new provincewide program aims to save many of the 2,000 people who die each year in B.C. from sudden cardiac arrest.
Public Access to Defibrillation or PAD plans to distribute 450 automated external defibrillators free of charge to community centres, arenas, playing fields, sports centres and other public venues around the province. At least one will be placed in every municipality in B.C. with larger cities receiving more based on population. Vancouver, for example, will be receiving 16 AEDs.
An AED provides an electric shock to start a heart that’s stopped. The current survival rate for someone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital is about five per cent. By using a defibrillator within five minutes, the chance of survival increases to 75 per cent.
The Ministry of Health and the Heart & Stroke Foundation are covering the cost of the $2 million program.