The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation in partnership with Salt Spring Fire/Rescue spearheaded the AED Campaign in January 2012 and to date, there are some 30 AEDs installed on Salt Spring Island.
Beth Weston, our certified Red Cross Trainer, talks about the need for AEDs in our community:
“Ordinary lay people need to know how to use an AED and my quest for training led me to the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation. As I spoke to Foundation President Derek Fry, I sensed his frustration with the issues around training. The Foundation was eager to follow Dr. Barclay’s suggestions and get AEDs into the community but simply hanging them on walls around Salt Spring Island without teaching people how to use them was not going to be effective. People were afraid of this new addition to CPR. They were curious but at arm’s length. I wanted to dispel the myths I had heard about AED units. I wanted as many people as possible to know how to use an AED and I wanted people to know how effective an AED can be and how it can truly save lives.”
“Over the years in my career as a nurse, I had taught CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) to various groups and individuals. But I knew that even if someone did CPR perfectly, many victims of sudden cardiac arrest did not survive. It was always very sad to talk to the lay responder whose victim had died. It was an event that the responder would never forget. Now we have the AED which is dramatically increasing the success of CPR.”
“At Chicago’s O’Hara Airport, the authorities were concerned about the high incidence of sudden cardiac arrest and resulting deaths. Only 3 to 5% of those who received timely CPR recovered. Then they put an AED within reach every 45 seconds throughout the airport. This means that one cannot walk for more than 45 seconds without passing an AED. They ran training programs for all levels of staff. Now more than 60% suffering a sudden cardiac arrest recover. Some of the events have been carried out by those without AED training proving jut how easy it is to use an AED.”
“How can the residents of Salt Spring Island reduce the deaths from sudden cardiac arrest? I believe there is a role for everyone in the community to help. People need to learn what an AED unit looks like and how it is used. They need to know where the AESs are located. People need to take action to get more AEDs into the community. And finally, people need to get the training to feel comfortable using the AED should the need arise.”
The Foundation offers AED/CPR C classes throughout the year that result in Red Cross Certification for the participants. This is a five hour class that covers the new methods for CPR as well as how to handle an AED. Participants leave feeling confident they will know how to react when faced with someone suffering from a heart event. For more information on these classes please contact Karen at 250-538-4824 or firstname.lastname@example.org