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Why your arena needs an AED

6th Dec 2014

Why your arena needs an AED

An AED saved Kevin Vinding

Your community arena is a great place to gather for heart-healthy physical activity and socializing. But what happens when something goes wrong there?

Kevin Vinding was playing hockey at the Jemini Arena in Saskatoon when he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed to the ice.

A coronary care nurse who happened to be watching the game and a teammate who was also a nurse rushed to Kevin’s side and began performing life-saving CPR. A firefighter who was also playing at the facility joined in the rescue and shocked his heart back to life using the arena’s automated external defibrillator (AED). Luckily, an ambulance was nearby and arrived within minutes.

Kevin’s heart stopped again that night – seven times in total. Each time an AED helped bring him back. Kevin, who was 44 at the time, later found out that only three per cent of people survive what he did.

Kevin was lucky that the Jemini Arena had an AED, and that bystanders knew what to do.

An AED is a safe and easy-to-use piece of equipment that helps re-set the heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. Used fast – and in conjunction with CPR – it can help keep a cardiac arrest victim alive until emergency help arrives.

Does your arena need an AED?

The facility in your neighbourhood or community may be eligible to receive funding to install an AED and to train staff and key users in the skills of CPR/AED. It is all part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, intended to place this life-saving equipment in the hands of people in large and small communities across the country.

All indoor arenas and recreational facilities (any facility that hosts 20 or more hours of indoor or outdoor physical activity programming most weeks of the year) are encouraged to apply. As well, special consideration will be given to isolated and remote Métis and Inuit community locations, which may include community centres, medical transport, fire departments and central meeting locations.

Kevin Vinding now has two stents in his left coronary artery and has made major lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, eating healthier and going to the gym regularly.

Kevin believes the AED saved his life. Just as important, there were people nearby who were trained and ready to stop cardiac arrest from taking its next life.

Source: October 2014