Did you know that many school boards in Ontario have already installed automated external defibrillators in their schools, and have an action plan for any student, faculty member, or visitor who may need to have one used on them? For some reason the Windsor/Essex County School Boards refuse to allow them to be installed in their schools until the Government tells them they have to! Their excuse is the liability factor. The problem with that excuse is that in Ontario we have The Good Samaritan Act and The Chase McEachern Act.
In Ontario, the Good Samaritan Act protects people who voluntarily offer CPR or first aid assistance in an emergency from getting sued for any related injury or death, unless the person providing aid was grossly negligent.
There is also now liability protection for people using public automated external defibrillators (AED). The Chase McEachern Act came into force on July 3, 2007 and is named after 11 year old Barrie resident Chase McEachern.
However, the school boards in Windsor and Essex County continue to use the liability excuse as a reason not to install.
Did you also know that when someone suffers from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, their chance of survival diminishes by 7-10% with every minute. Within 4-6 minutes brain damage and permanent death start to occur, and after 10 minutes, few attempts at resuscitation succeed? Can we always trust that there will be an ambulance available and able to make it to your child's school in time should the unfortunate happen?
I am not ready to risk that, and I will tell you why. On November 2nd, 2009, shortly after 10am in the morning, I received a phone call from my sons elementary school. I was asked to come to the school as fast as I could because my son had suffered from cardiac arrest. Fortunately for my family, we lived in Simcoe County at the time, and his school had an AED. They started CPR and he was given a life saving shock. The doctors later told me, that had he not received that shock when he did, his chances of survival were minimal. He is alive today, and 16 years old. We now live in Windsor, and the schools here refuse to have the AED's put in. In fact, The Heart and Stroke donated an AED to the school and they still will not have it installed for everyone's use. They only put it under lock and key, in the principal's office, for Brandon's use only. Brandon now has an internal defibrillator, he does not need the AED, but the students, faculty and visitors could use it.
Let's get together and lobby the school boards to put these life saving devices in our children's schools and let's not stop until they do.
""Brandon Had a Pulse!"
Simcoe County's Defibrillator Program and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Team Up to Save a Young Boy's Life
A 13- year old male student attending James Keating Elementary School is alive today thanks to the partnership between the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services.
One moment, Brandon Koskitalo was in gym class, running across one of his school's athletic fields. The next, he was lying lifeless on the ground. His heart had suddenly stopped beating.
With only seconds to spare, quick thinking classmates and staff from the school immediately called 9-1-1 and began CPR and called for the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that had been placed at Brandon's school the previous year. The Southern Georgian Bay OPP arrived on the scene within a minute of the call. OPP Constable Robin Chiasson was first to arrive and she quickly utilized the AEDto shock Brandon's heart while her partner Constable Peter Hunter continued CPR until Paramedics arrived minutes later. The County of Simcoe Paramedic Services arrived and confirmed it:
Brandon had a pulse.
The above reasons, and story are why schools should be made to install AED's.