Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in Canada, and together with partners, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is ensuring readiness for cardiac-related emergencies should the need arise within its facilities located outside of the hospitals.
Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) devices have been installed in each of MAHC’s Diabetes Education Programs in Bracebridge and Huntsville. The new lifesaving devices were made possible by funds raised through the ‘Code Blue’ Huntsville Otters Jr. C hockey game and spaghetti dinner event that was organized by the Huntsville Hospital Foundation in November and through MAHC funding.
There is one sudden cardiac arrest every 12 minutes in Canada, typically striking without warning as the majority of victims have no previous recognized symptoms of heart disease.
“May 1 to 7 is Emergency Preparedness Week as health care providers, we know how important it is to be prepared with equipment and training that has the ability to save lives,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at MAHC. “Whether it’s inside of one’s home, or inside of a busy hospital, recreation centre or arena, the best chance of survival is when a defibrillator shock can be delivered quickly and there are people nearby that have the confidence to act as Good Samaritans and use the device.”
The new AEDs are accessible in the Diabetes Education Program areas in the Howland Building in Huntsville and on the second floor of the Archdekin Medical Clinic in Bracebridge. Staff from MAHC, the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and One Kids Place received training on using the devices from Action First Aid in April.
“Code Blue with the Huntsville Jr. C Otters was a wonderful event that brought community out to support both the team and the Huntsville Hospital,” says Katherine Craine, Executive Director at the Huntsville Hospital Foundation. “It was a great night and we truly appreciate the work of the executive and volunteers from the Otters. They did a great job and I know they will be very happy to know that the AED that they bought is in place and ready to use!”
An AED offers the best chance of reviving a cardiac arrest victim and increases the chance of survival when used within five to six minutes of the arrest.
“We’re delighted to be able to help our own staff and our partners in our facilities be better prepared to quickly respond to a sudden cardiac arrest incident outside of the hospitals,” says Bubela.