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McGuinty Government Investing In 20 New Defibrillators In London Area

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McGuinty Government Investing In 20 New Defibrillators In London Area

Life-Saving Equipment In Recreation Centres To Help Save Lives

Office of the Premier

The 20 new defibrillators being installed in the London-area will help save the lives of people who suffer heart attacks, announced Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"Losing someone to a sudden heart attack is devastating to families and that's why we're working to provide the life-saving equipment that is so critical to improving the chances of survival," said Premier McGuinty. "It just makes sense to increase the number of defibrillators in locations where people spend so much of their time exercising."

Across the province, the McGuinty government is providing $3 million to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario for the creation of a Thousand Defibrillators Program for Ontario's recreational facilities.

The Premier also noted that the Chase McEachern Act came into effect today. It protects from civil liability any people who attempt to save a life using an automated external defibrillator, as well as organizations that make them available.

The bill is named after Chase McEachern, who was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and started a campaign to make defibrillators mandatory in hockey arenas and schools. On February 9, 2006, Chase passed out while jogging warm-up laps in gym class. He was rushed to hospital but efforts to resuscitate him failed.

"This investment will provide London-area residents with important life-saving assistance," said Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson. "With access to this life-saving tool, public facilities will be safer places to gather and be active."

Approximately 20 per cent of cardiac arrests happen outside the home. Defibrillators allow for the return of a normal heartbeat to those who suffer cardiac arrest. It is estimated that early intervention using a defibrillator, together with CPR, can save lives and improve survival rates by up to 50 per cent.

Other McGuinty government initiatives to promote healthy living and improve wellness include:

  • Creating 150 Family Health Teams, made up of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, to improve access to health care for 2.5 million Ontarians
  • Requiring 20 minutes of daily physical activity in schools
  • Giving every Ontarian the right to be free from second-hand smoke with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which bans smoking public spaces and workplaces.

"Our health care system is one of the ways Ontarians look out for each other -- and by working together to help those who suffer a heart attack we're building a healthier, safer and stronger province," said Premier McGuinty.

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