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Automated external defibrillators coming to public schools

The province will be buying up to 350, for a total investment of $700,000
AED-Sydney-5
Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and Stephanie Campbell, principal of Malcolm Munroe Memorial Middle School in Sydney, with the school’s automated external defibrillator

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are coming to all public schools in the province.

The portable electronic devices are used to help those in cardiac arrest by analyzing the heart's rhythm and delivering an electric shock to help it return to a more effective rhythm.

Audio and visual prompts make them easy and safe to use.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Derek Mombourquette said every second counts in a cardiac emergency.

"A school building is the heart of its community, often used on evenings and weekends by a variety of organizations and people of all ages," he said in a news release. "Everyone who enters one of our schools should be confident that a life-saving defibrillator is nearby."

The province says around 70 schools already have AEDs, some have students who need access to one, while others got them through fundraising or a donation.

The government will be buying up to 350. Each costs around $2,000 for a total investment of $700,000.

Once installed, they'll be added to the EHS automated external defibrillator registry website, which allows EHS staff to direct people who call 911 to the closest defibrillator during a cardiac emergency.

"Our goal is to increase survivability for sudden cardiac arrest in Nova Scotia and this is a very important step towards that goal. While we hope these devices will never be used, we know that if they are needed, the quick access this provides is critical to potentially saving a life," said the program's coordinator Mike Janczyszyn.

"Having an accessible AED can exponentially increase someone's chance of survival, in conjunction with early recognition of the emergency, calling 911, and performing high-quality CPR."

 

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