Manitoba is the first Canadian jurisdiction to require public access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which help save the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims. According to Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba (HSFM), the chance of surviving cardiac arrest outside of the hospital is a dismal 5% but CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival by as much as 75%.
Bill 20, The Defibrillator Public Access Act, passed on June 16. However, a take-effect date has yet to be proclaimed. And regulations fleshing out some of the requirements still need to be drafted. Here’s an overview of this cutting edge law.
The new law requires the owners of designated high-traffic public places, such as schools, recreation centres, malls, airports and other busy locations where cardiac arrests are more likely to occur, to install and maintain AEDs.
In addition, property owners must:
- Ensure that all AEDs are continuously maintained
- Display visible signage indicating the location and use of AEDs
- Register the AEDs with the designated registrar. HSFM will serve as the central registry for all AEDs in the province at this time.
A key element of the new law is the protection from civil liability it gives to both the owners of premises that provide AEDs and people who use AEDs provided that they act in good faith.
Implement an AED Program in Your Workplace
Obviously, this new law only applies in Manitoba and to the owners of a limited number of public places. So many workplaces won’t be impacted.
But there are still reasons why workplaces in Manitoba and across Canada should implement AED programs voluntarily. Click here for information on starting an AED program for your workplace.