TRURO – A new lifesaving device is at the fingertips of those at École acadienne de Truro should the need arise.
An automated external defibrillator, or AED, was installed at the school last week after approval to a grant program through the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The program provides schools, community centres and other public areas with an AED, as well as training on the device.
“We are really happy to have been chosen as a location for an AED,” said DeAnne Pelchat, the school and community development agent, in a news release. “The school and the community centre offer a variety of programming in the evenings, weekends and even during the summer months for people of all ages and it is nice to know that if a cardiac event were ever to happen, survival chances would be greatly improved.”
Along with the foundation, the Frank & Irene Sobey Memorial Fund and the Aberdeen Health Foundation sponsored the AED placement.
Training on the device will be done thanks to a partnership with the school and the Life Saving Society of Nova Scotia. Training will also include staff at the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro.
“Now that we have an AED, we have even more motivation to train our students in various levels of First Aid, so that they too can help others in need,” said Pelchat.
Starting in the fall, Pelchat will offer the Canadian Red Cross babysitting course to Grade 6 students, Emergency First Aid to students in grades seven through nine, and Standard First Aid to students in grades 10, 11 and 12.
“There is no harm in having these skills, they will be able to use them outside of the school environment and it could also be useful when applying for student jobs.”
There are currently 22 staff members and 12 students from the school that are certified in various levels of first aid.
General facts and stats:
- Up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur in Canada annually, or one in every 12 minutes.
- Without rapid and appropriate treatment, most cardiac arrests result in death.
- An individual’s chance of survival can double when CPR is used in combination with an AED.
- For every minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by seven to 10 per cent. After more than 12 minutes of ventricular fibrillation, the survival rate is less than five per cent.