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Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program

The Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario has worked to develop Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Programs for the communities within the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB area.

The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB Paramedic Services oversees the PAD program for this area.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can strike anywhere and at any time. It can happen to anyone: an employee in the workplace, a shopper in a mall, an athlete on the playing field, a spectator at an event, a traveler at an airport or in a plane, ferry or train, or a pedestrian on a busy street.

A person suffering from SCA requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which involves chest compressions in an effort to create artificial circulation by manually pumping blood through the heart (with or without the provision of breaths) and can be provided by anyone.  But CPR by itself is not enough. 

Combined with CPR, the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) may increase the likelihood of saving a person’s life by 75% or more over CPR alone.

An AED is a small, portable, and easy-to-use device that assesses the heart of a person in cardiac arrest for a shockable rhythm. If such a rhythm is detected, the provider is instructed to press a button to deliver a shock or series of shocks to the victim’s heart, stopping the heart to allow it to return to a normal rhythm. If no shockable rhythm is detected, no shock can be given and the provider must perform CPR until professional help arrives.

Until 2005, only medical and paramedical staff used AEDs. However, the advent of safe and easy-to-use AEDs and changes to legislation now makes it possible to extend the use of AEDs to people with no medical training. The use of the AED is so simple that anyone can use it by following the voice prompts provided by the AED but training is always recommended.  The training is provided in a standard CPR course.