Defibrillator database will help save lives – so register now
Supporting Island families -
Islanders, businesses, and community facilities are encouraged to register their Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) with a new province-wide online database.
Joining the AED registry is voluntary and free and can be done in less than five minutes by visiting www.healthpei.ca/aedregistry or calling (902) 569-7653. The AED registry will go live this spring once the database has been sufficiently populated.
“We’ve made significant investments in emergency health services in recent years to ensure Islanders receive timely access to life-saving care,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. “Integrating a provincial AED Registry into our emergency health services is another tool that will strengthen paramedic response in an emergency and better the chances of saving the life of someone who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest..”
With the AED registry in place, Island EMS and the emergency dispatcher will be able to
- advise the 9-1-1 caller of the nearest publicly accessible defibrillator;
- direct the caller to either retrieve it or ask someone else for assistance; and
- provide instructions on how to use it until paramedics arrive.
“Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. It can happen without warning and there are often no symptoms; it can even be fatal in healthy children and teens. The ability to identify publicly accessible AEDs in Prince Edward Island will help ensure the device can be found and used quickly when needed,” said Dr. Scott Cameron, emergency department physician and Health PEI’s Provincial Medical Director of Emergency Services.
The AED registry is operated in partnership with Health PEI, Heart & Stroke-PEI, Island EMS, and Medacom Atlantic. It is integrated with Island EMS’ Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) protocol launched in September, as well as the computer-assisted dispatch software used by Island EMS.
“Early bystander CPR with the use of an AED, during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, provides the best chance for survival,” says Darcy Clinton, Island EMS general manager and provincial paramedic chief. “This is why the provincial registry will be so important for our emergency medical dispatchers to be able to assist the public in locating the closest AED.”
“Heart & Stroke - PEI is pleased to see the provincial Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Registry moving forward,” says health promotion manager Sarah Crozier. “We strongly encourage individuals responsible for AEDs at their site to register it. The AED registry, once in place, will have the potential to increase survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest in our province.”
In February, Health PEI and Island EMS will host information sessions across the province to inform Islanders about the new AED registry. The locations will be in Souris, Montague, O’Leary, Summerside, Charlottetown and Wellington, and dates will be announced early in the new year.
Up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur in Canada each year – or one every 13 minutes.
Defibrillation, when combined with cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) within the first few minutes, can more than double a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
- With each passing minute, the probability of survival declines by seven to 10 per cent.
- Without immediate treatment, the individual will suffer brain damage within three minutes and will rarely survive past twelve minutes.
A portable, electronic Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) evaluates a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s heart rhythm, determines if shock is needed, and delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart.
- An AED will not accidentally shock someone as it reads the heart rhythm and only delivers a shock if needed.