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Commentary resulting from the recent purchase of 3 Philips HeartStart FRx defibrillators for
Great-West Life Assurance Company based here in Winnipeg:

Defibrillators are such an incredibly vast improvement for treatment of sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack victims. For every minute that passes, survival decreases by 7-10%, so getting that AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on and delivering CPR within the first 4-5 minutes greatly improves the chance of survival (50-75% improvement*). We can rarely achieve getting one on that fast by relying on EMS providers alone - it usually takes about 7-10 minutes from the 911 call to the rescuers arriving and getting the equipment in place, and by that time the victim has only approximately a 2-5% chance of recovery.

We've had extremely positive experiences with Canadian First-Aid Training. Christian and his team are excellent instructors and are extremely committed to ensuring that each person who leaves the room after a course really knows what to do in the event of an emergency. The courses are dynamic and engaging, and the instructors are very knowledgeable about their subject matter. Cost is very competitive and lower than both the previous two companies we have used in the past.

The Phillips HeartSmart AED’s we’ve purchased for Great-West are (I believe), the best product on the market for ease and accuracy of use by lay persons. The unit not only delivers the essential defibrillation shock, but also guides the user through correct use of CPR with voice prompts and an auditory pulse that tells the user when to compress the chest and when to give breaths. To some this feature doesn't seem like much, but in an emergency situation when the rescuer's pulse is racing and adrenaline is rushing, it can be difficult to remember exactly what to do, so having that extra guidance can make all the difference to the victim. The defibrillator only stops the heart from quivering, so knowing how to give appropriate CPR is what's essential to get it going in the appropriate rhythm again. Canadian First-Aid Training did an excellent job in training our personnel on this technology (Philips). Just a thought!

Annastasia Lambert, RN, BN
Company Nurse
Great-West Life Assurance Company
60 Osborne St. N. WPG, MB, R3C 3A5

* http://heart.health.ivillage.com/cardiacarrest/aed2.cfm