Heart defibrillators in public spaces

The Manitoba government is financing the distribution of 1,000 heart defibrillators in public spaces across the province as part of a $1.3-million program to make the life-saving devices more accessible to cardiac arrest victims.

“We know the chance of survival is increased by almost 75 per cent when a heart defibrillator is used with cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It can really mean the difference between life and death,” said Health Minister Theresa Oswald in a release.

The free defibrillators will make it easier to acquire the life-saving devices for non-profit and community-owned public facilities that will soon be required to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) available on site under new provincial legislation.

The province of Manitoba was the first in the country to develop legislation to require high-traffic public facilities like schools, hockey arenas, community centres, fitness clubs and curling rinks to have a defibrillator on site.

A full list of designated public places required to have a defibrillator on site, as well as information about the types of defibrillators that are acceptable and how they must be installed and registered is available at www.gov.mb.ca/health/aed/. Information about the free defibrillator initiative is available at www.heartandstroke.mb.ca/AEDlegislation.

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