Im­por­tant to keep AEDs main­tained, EHS says

Need to keep de­vices prop­erly main­tained among points be­ing high­lighted through AED reg­istry ini­tia­tive

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - ERIC BOURQUE THEVANGUARD.CA

It can be a life-sav­ing de­vice, but an AED (au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tor) has to be main­tained in or­der to en­sure it will do its job when needed, Ar­gyle mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil was told last week.

Mike Janczyszyn, co-or­di­na­tor of the Emer­gency Health Ser­vices’ AED reg­istry, said main­te­nance of AEDs is one of the main pil­lars they’re fo­cus­ing on with the provin­cial reg­istry.

“It’s kind of the for­got­ten piece of hav­ing an AED,” he said. “You ac­tu­ally need to main­tain it ... The bat­tery ex­pires. The pads ex­pire. They get old. (If) the gel is not sticky enough, it won’t work.”

AED own­ers who sign up with the reg­istry can get no­ti­fi­ca­tions re­mind­ing them of main­te­nance re­quire­ments and ex­piries.

“We re­ally want these things to be main­tained,” Janczyszyn said. “(Oth­er­wise) you might as well not have an AED be­cause it’s kind of a false sense of se­cu­rity for ev­ery­one in­volved.”

He was ad­dress­ing Ar­gyle coun­cil dur­ing its Oct. 30 com­mit­tee-ofthe-whole meet­ing, along with lo­cal EHS para­medic Colton Le­Blanc, who also stressed the im­por­tance of mak­ing sure AEDs are main­tained.

“It’s like a car,” Le­Blanc said. “If you don’t main­tain it, things can go wrong.”

An AED is a por­ta­ble de­vice that an­a­lyzes and iden­ti­fies shock­able heart rhythms, ad­vises the res­cuer of the need for de­fib­ril­la­tion and de­liv­ers a shock if needed to re­store a nor­mal heart rhythm.

De­fib­ril­la­tion is most suc­cess­ful if done within three to five min­utes of a car­diac ar­rest, EHS says.

“Ev­ery minute counts in a car­diac ar­rest,” Le­Blanc told coun­cil. “Car­diac ar­rest can hap­pen to any­body of any gen­der of any age at any time in any lo­ca­tion.”

EHS launched an off­line AED reg­istry data­base in 2011 to track lo­ca­tions and main­te­nance records of AEDs in the prov­ince. EHS is about a year-and-a-half into launch­ing an en­hanced reg­istry to en­able an on­line and more au­to­mated ap­proach to track­ing and no­ti­fi­ca­tions for main­te­nance and ex­piries.

Speak­ing to Ar­gyle coun­cil, Le­Blanc said the lat­est reg­istry fig­ures show there were about a dozen AEDs reg­is­tered in Yar­mouth County, three in the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Ar­gyle. Provincewide, the number of de­vices reg­is­tered was 651. For the western zone, from the Ch­ester area to the Wind­sor area, there were 130 reg­is­tered.

AEDs can be reg­is­tered as pub­lic or pri­vate. There is no cost to join the reg­istry but reg­is­trants are re­spon­si­ble for pur­chas­ing their AED and for the costs of main­tain­ing it. EHS does not sell AEDs. For de­tails on the reg­istry and to regis­ter, the web­site ad­dress is www.save­livesns. ca

Goals for the en­hanced reg­istry pro­gram, EHS says, in­clude

• in­creas­ing the number of AEDs in the prov­ince

• en­sur­ing the de­vices are prop­erly main­tained and up to date

• rais­ing aware­ness about the im­por­tance of CPR and AEDs

• pro­mot­ing CPR and AED train­ing

• in­creas­ing sur­vival rates for sud­den, out-of-hospi­tal car­diac ar­rests.

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