Going Global! National and International Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Programs
Global Medical Services is a proud partner of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s PAD program. Over the past decade and a half many countries have worked to develop programs that facilitate the public’s access to Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). In order to develop an innovative public access to defibrillation program for BC, the Heart and Stroke Foundation surveyed a variety of national and international PAD programs. We are excited to be part of this exceptional project that will ultimately save the lives of countless British Columbians. To celebrate BC’s PAD Program, we decided to take a look around the globe to see how different Public Access to Defibrillation programs were able to create positive impacts in their communities.
Canada has a few provincial PAD programs. The Ontario PAD program has been active since 2007, and they have installed around 3000 publically accessible AEDs. Over the next few years, and with the help of additional provincial funding Ontario is planning on installing another 2500 Public AEDs. Today, over 40 lives have been saved by publically accessible AED’s in Ontario.
In the United States, many cities have developed their own PAD programs. San Diego started “Project Heartbeat” in 2001. The initial goal of their program was to place 250 AEDs in public places throughout the city in time for the 2003 Superbowl. San Diego managed to exceed their goal by placing 550 publically accessible AED units in that time frame. San Diego is working to make AEDs prevalent in public places as Fire Extinguishers currently are. San Diego’s AED of choice is the Powerheart AED G3 Automatic; an AED that Global Medical Services is also proud to carry in our product line. Today, Project Heartbeat has saved 107 lives in the Greater San Diego area.
In Florida, the City of Miami/DADE fire-rescue department developed the “Team for Life” program in an effort to promote public access to defibrillators in the region. The fire-rescue department provides funding, training, equipment and program management for the public AED program. Miami/DADE has also worked to create one of the largest public access to Defibrillator initiatives in the world by equipping 1900 Police vehicles with Lifepak 500 AEDs.
In 2011, Spain became the first country in the European Union to start a PAD Program. The Territory of Girona, Spain intends to install 500 fixed AEDs and 150 portable AED units throughout the region. Spain has chosen to install the Powerheart G3 Plus Automatic AED on busy street corners and in public buildings.
Meanwhile in the Southern hemisphere, Saint John’s Ambulance Australia started the community based “Heart Start” program. This program was begun in 2004 and provides guidance for public institutions seeking to incorporate an AED into their facilities. To date, this program has saved 19 lives. In 2012, Saint Johns Ambulance began offering subsidized AED’s to the public. They have received an overwhelming amount of public support for their program and they are hoping to see it grow dramatically in the future.
Moving into Asia, on March 11th 2007, the Hong Kong College of Cardiology in conjunction with the Lan Kwai Fong Association installed their first AED in a public place, as part of their “Heart-Safe Place” program. In the program’s first year, over 100 AEDs were installed in places ranging from community centers and sports arenas to amusement parks.
Since 2004, Japan has been working to incorporate AED’s into their communities. When the program began there were approximately 9906 publicly accessed defibrillators in Japan. Due to a number of public and private initiatives, by 2007 the number of community based AEDs had risen to about 88,265. A study conducted on the Japanese PAD initiative found that the increase in public access to defibrillators was shown to dramatically improve an individual’s chances of surviving a cardiac event .
Global Medical Services is very proud to be part of the BC-PAD program and we are very excited to be joining these other locations in an effort to bring accessible AEDs to the public.