Posted on 12/31/2013

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA-- Manitoba's most visible legislative change for the new year won't be seen until the end of January.

That's when Premier Greg Selinger's government requires the installation of as many as 8,000 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places by Jan. 31.

Under the province's Defibrillator Public Access Act, the AEDs and appropriate signage have to be installed in all public buildings, including more than 500 schools, 200 community and fitness centres and more than 100 curling clubs, golf courses and other sports venues. Casinos, shopping malls and airports also require AEDs.

Facilities must also register the AED through the Heart and Stroke Foundation so 911 dispatchers know the AED's location and can help rescuers in finding and using it in the event of a cardiac-arrest emergency.

An AED is a briefcase-sized device than can deliver a shock to a person's heart. They come with voice instructions that are easy to follow and no training is necessary. They are also designed in such a way that they cannot cause harm. If the AED does not detect an irregular heart rhythm, it will not deliver a shock. Its use can improve survival rates by 75 per cent over the administration of CPR alone.

The province has already paid for 1,000 of the devices to be distributed. All AEDs have been allocated.

SOURCE: Brandon Sun