“It really excites us to be here this afternoon to announce the placement of an AED as part of our ‘Restart a Heart - Life’ program,” said Judy Black, resuscitation program manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Black said the program aims to place at least 100 AEDs across Nova Scotia.
“We really appreciate the funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation,” said Neil Raymond, general manager of Queens Place.
All the staff at the centre has been trained on how to use the AED, said Raymond.
“These belong in facilities like ours,” added Raymond to a small group of people in the lobby. “I think a recreational facility is second or third on the list as a potential site where a cardiac arrest would happen.”
Black said there is less than a five per cent chance of survival without an AED. With the combination of doing CPR and using an AED, there’s a 75 per cent greater chance of survival, she added.
Mike Morton, a paramedic with EHS Nova Scotia in Liverpool, did a demonstration with the centre’s new machine.
Morton first showed the pads, and said if they’re expired there are always extra ones.
The first thing to do if someone falls, said Morton, is to go to her or him and, if the person doesn’t have a pulse, start CPR.
“Once CPR is started, you tell somebody else to go grab the defibrillator,” he said.
Morton then demonstrated opening the case and removing pads.
“And it’s all self-explanatory,” he added.
Any clothing from the waist up has to be removed, but women’s bras can be left on unless they have wire, he said.
“Each one of these electrodes have pictures on them,” said Morton. “They have a picture of where they actually go.”
Open them, peel them and place them where the pictures show, said Morton as he demonstrated. He said while someone is placing the pads, someone else would be doing CPR.
Morton said when the machine is analyzing whether a shock is advised, it will ask people not to touch the patient. In the case where the heart has no activity, the machine will say there’s no shock available.
“It means the machine’s not going to help them,” he said. “You’re going to have to continue CPR until the ambulance arrives so we can put drugs and medications in.”
Morton said two minutes of CPR is strenuous. He said it’s “fast and vicious,” and two minutes is probably all someone would want to do.
When the machine advises shock, there will be a high-pitched tone that will go up as it’s charging, explained Morton. The machine will then say “shock advised,” and a red button will begin to flash.
“You push the button, and the shock will go,” he said.
“If you’re going to shock somebody, make sure that I’m clear, you’re clear, that everybody’s clear. Make sure that nobody’s touching that patient.”
Raymond said Queens Place applied to get the AED last fall. When sites have received funding, the AED and materials are bought, and training is arranged.