Wednesday August 20, 2014

Kamloops to receive one of 450 defibrillators in B.C.

Consultation with local government will determine where it goes

At least one of the 450 new defibrillators planned for distribution around B.C. will come to Kamloops.

The B.C. government and the Heart and Stroke Foundation are each contributing $1 million to buy the devices used to save the lives of people suffering from heart attacks.

They will be placed in community centres, arenas, recreation centres, sports centres and other public places where there's an increased risk of someone suffering cardiac arrest.

The location of the Kamloops defibrillator will be determined in consultation with local government. The number has yet to be decided, but Kamloops will get at least one.

Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid said more than 2,000 people die in B.C. each year from a heart attack, and increased access to defibrillators can help save many of those lives.

Statistics show the survival rate of someone suffering a heart attack can be increased by 75 per cent if a defibrillator is used within five minutes.

The portable devices, known as automated external defibrillators, or AED's, can be used to deliver an electric shock to restart a heart if a person has a heart attack.

The AED is able to read the heart rhythm and only delivers a shock if needed.

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