Curves Comox members and staff worked together to purchase an advanced first aid device.
Curves Comox has installed an automated external defibrillator (AED), thanks to donations from members, staff, local businesses and matching funds from owners Janice and Vaughn Smith.
Having an AED on site allows for immediate effective response in case of cardiac arrest. If a member or guest goes into sudden cardiac arrest, (they are unconscious and not breathing), 911 is called, the AED is connected to the patient and CPR is initiated.
After analyzing the heart rhythm, the AED will recommend to shock the patient if arrhythmia is detected. This will stop the dangerous rhythm and hopefully the heart will restart its regular beating. If, during the analysis arrhythmia is not detected, no shock is delivered and CPR is continued.
During the critical time that paramedics are en route, the device will continue to analyze the patient's heart rhythm every two minutes.
The new AED installed at the Curves Comox location represents a significant advancement in local first aid. Initiating CPR and applying an AED immediately increases the patients chances of survival to over 60 per cent, as opposed to less than four per cent survival rates with CPR alone.
Staff at the location have been trained in first aid and CPR as well as in the operation of an AED. With thousands of visits by members per month, the location is always a busy place, and the AED gives those new to strenuous exercise an increased level of first aid protection.
While staff expect that the device will rarely, if ever, be used, it is comforting to all to know that such sophisticated first aid support is close at hand.
Janice and Vaughn would like to thank the members, Curves staff, Mary Maclean of West Coast First Aid, and the local businesses for donating to the fundraising events to help purchase the AED.
They encourage everyone to get certified in CPR which always includes learning to use an AED. Contact West Coast First Aid, St. John Ambulance or your local recreation centre for classes.