AED registry increases access to defibrillators.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation have created a registry for 911 dispatchers outlining all available AEDs in a given community.

The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation has created an automated defibrillator device (AED) registry designed to help people find the closest defibrillator to their location should they or someone they’re with experience cardiac arrest.

Part of the B.C. Public Access to Defibrillators (PAD) Program, the registry will provide 911 dispatchers a list of available AED devices throughout the province. The registry will allow dispatchers to direct callers to the nearest available AED device in their region.

“This includes businesses, churches, schools, municipal buildings, individuals with an AED in their home- everyone,” “ said Heart and Stroke resuscitation manager Shelley Parker. “It may be that you’re at home and your spouse has a sudden cardiac arrest. The 911 dispatcher could tell you that there is an AED two doors down,” she added.

Those wishing to register their AED device can do so online at www.bcpadprogram.ca. They can also choose whether or not to disclose their AED device’s location publicly or only to 911 dispatchers.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says that sudden cardiac arrest kills one person every four hours in British Columbia and this service will help to reduce that statistic.

“The new registry is a vital step in helping people find the closest AED when there is a sudden cardiac arrest,” said Adrienne Bakker, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation for British Columbia and Yukon. “Withough defibrillation and CPR the chance of survival decreased by seven to 10 per cent for each minute that passes.”

In coordination with their new registry program, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has also pledged to install 750 new AEDs in public areas through British Columbia by 2017.

Money for the PAD program comes from a $2 million cheque cut to the Heart and Stroke Foundation by the provincial government. That amount is being matched by Heart and Stroke Foundation donors.

At press time AEDs had been registered in Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake but none has been registered publicly in Fort St. James.