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Healthy Minds Healthy College


February 1, 2013


February is Heart Smart Month and in conjunction with this, we would like to draw awareness on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Did you know?

Manitoba is the first province in Canada to pass AED legislation.  The Manitoba Government passed a law that requires public access to AEDs in busy public places where cardiac arrests are more likely to occur.  The law requires AEDs to be continuously maintained, display visual signage, and be registered.  The AEDs here are registered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

An AED is a portable electronic device that can be used to treat a victim of cardiac arrest. It evaluates a cardiac arrest victim’s heart rhythm, determines if shock is needed and delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart.

What does that mean?

When cardiac arrest strikes, a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death.  In Winnipeg alone, 9-1-1 dispatchers report receiving approximately three calls a day related to sudden cardiac arrest. The chance of surviving cardiac arrest outside of hospital is a dismal 5 per cent, but CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival by as much as 75 per cent. For every minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by 7 to 10 per cent. The survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest without CPR is zero.  Every minute counts, which is why public access to AEDs is so important.  (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba).

What are the AED operating steps?

AEDs make it possible for even non-medical people to restore heart rhythm and life.  There are a few main universal steps for operating an AED:

  1. Turn power on, either open the lid or press the power button (depending on the model)
  2. Connect AED electrode pad cables (some units are pre-attached)
  3. Bare the Chest.  Open their shirt and dry off their chest if it is wet.
  4. Look at the pictures on the electrode pads.  If the person has a hairy chest you will have to shave it with the razor provided in the kit attached to the AED before you apply the electrode pads (be careful, the razor is very sharp).  Attach electrode pads exactly as shown in the picture.
  5. Follow the instructions of the AED prompts.  The AED will inform you to not touch the person while it analyses their heart rhythm.
  6. If a shock is advised the AED will inform you to press the flashing button.  Ensure nobody is touching the person and press the button. Continue CPR until Medical Help arrives.  If a shock is not advised, continue CPR until Medical Help arrives.  The AED will continue to check the rhythm of the heart and deliver shocks as required.  Keep the AED on and electrodes properly attached until Medical Help arrives.

Please note that an AED only shocks a heart that is in an irregular rhythm.  It will not shock a heart that is in a normal rhythm or one that has stopped.

Where are Red River Colleges AEDs?

Red River College has 14 Automated External Defibrillators throughout our Campuses as follows:

Notre Dame Campus (6)
-Building A – First Floor, East Entrance on North Side, near A137
-Building J – First Floor Hallway, Across J105
-Building G – in North Gym at Mall Entrance
-Building Z – Z110
-Outside Health Centre – HM08
-Building C – C115 – Security (not approved for public use)

Roblin Centre (2)
-Health Centre – P105
-P4 Hallway near elevator & P411 Entrance

Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (3)
-First Floor at Security Desk
-Third Floor outside of the Health Centre
-Seventh Floor elevator lobby

Stevenson Aviation – Winnipeg (2)
-First Floor, Shop Area
-Second Floor

Stevenson Aviation – Southport (1)
-Hangar – Tool Room

Please familiarize yourself with the locations and let others know where they are. A listing of AEDs can be found on the Environmental Health and Safety Services (EHSS) Webpage and clicking on Safety Matters.  Also, look for signs posted on the walls or windows throughout the College showing where the nearest AED is located.

YouTube has many demonstrations to help people become familiar with AED’s.  Here is one:

AED and CPR training is also available from EHSS. Contact Faye Bychuk for more information at: