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Emergency defibrillator training program debuts in Canada

April 9, 2008, Toronto- The first of its kind in Canada, today the GTAA launched the largest public access defibrillation program at Toronto Pearson International Airport in partnership with the Medtronic Foundation.


April 9, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

April 9, 2008, Toronto- The first of its kind in Canada, today the GTAA
launched the largest public access defibrillation program at Toronto Pearson
International Airport in partnership with the Medtronic Foundation.
       

Every year in Canada, approximately 40,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac
Arrest (SCA), that's more than 110 people per day across the country. SCA, an
electrical malfunction of the heart, can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. The
best chances of survival come from early defibrillation. Every passing minute
after SCA occurs, the chances of successful defibrillation of the heart
decreases by 7-10 per cent.
       

It is because of these startling statistics that more than 190 automated
external defibrillators (AEDs) can be found at various locations around
Toronto Pearson International Airport. These machines save lives.
       

The Heart Cart Program will serve to educate the travelling public as
well as airport employees on the use of AEDs as well as the basics of CPR. The
Cart, which will move around to different locations within Terminal 1, will be
staffed by GTAA Emergency Services personnel who will provide a 3-4 minute
presentation to anyone interested in being educated on these life saving
devices.
       
"More than 31 million passengers travel through Toronto Pearson each
year, and we are pleased to be able to offer this educational opportunity that
might allow them to one day save a life. These machines provide a valuable
service to someone suffering from cardiac arrest, giving them a much greater
chance of survival. The more people that know how to use them properly, the
better," says Lloyd McCoomb, President & CEO of the GTAA.
       

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Through its HeartRescue program, The Medtronic Foundation has partnered with more than 150 communities and organizations around the world and provided
them with grants, such as the Heart Cart, to promote the benefits of early
defibrillation and public access to AEDs. Toronto Pearson is pleased to join
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Fort Worth and London Heathrow airports as
participants in the Medtronic Heart Cart program.
       

"Anyone can save a life," said Lynda Pike, chairperson, Medtronic
Foundation, Canada chapter. "The more people know about sudden cardiac arrest
and AEDs, the more lives can be saved. Through the Heart Cart and other
community programs, we hope to help more and more people recognize when sudden
cardiac arrest occurs, and we aim to make them comfortable and confident in
using AEDs."
       

The GTAA is the non-share, not for profit authority that operates Toronto
Pearson. All revenue generated by the GTAA is reinvested back into the
airport. In 2007, 31.5 million passengers travelled through Toronto Pearson.