How a defibrillator map could save lives
'You only have five to seven minutes in order to restart the heart'
The P.E.I. Department of Health is considering a registry of all the defibrillators in the province, so 911 operators can direct callers to them when necessary.
A number of organizations have been lobbying for the province to map out where all the defibrillators are. In the event an ambulance can't get to a person quickly, a 911 dispatcher could direct the caller to where the closest defibrillator is.
"You only have five to seven minutes in order to restart the heart once the heart stops pumping," said health economist Chris Robinson.
"After five to seven minutes all of the body's organs and the brain begin to die, so it's critical that you restart the heart, and the only way to really do that is with a defibrillator."
Working within the budget
Health Minister Robert Henderson said a number of organizations have been lobbying for a registry.
"The Heart and Stroke Foundation has also been lobbying for that," said Henderson.
"Those are some of the things that we'll be looking at as a department and ways to provide faster and more efficient responses to certain situations like heart attacks and strokes and things of that nature."
Henderson would not say when a decision will be made.
He said he has to weigh every request in terms of what will offer the best health care to Islanders within his department's budget.
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With files from Laura Chapin