Life-saving defibrillators to be installed in all N.L. schools after big donation

A major donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation means every school will have access to potentially life-saving machinery.

N.L. Building Construction Trades Council donates $400K to AEDs In Schools program

After recieving a $400,000 donation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation will be able to achieve their goal of placing AED's in every school in N.L. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

A major donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador means that soon every school in the province will have access to machines that could save a child's life in the event of a cardiac arrest.

The donation of $400,000 from the N.L. Building Construction Trades Council (NLBCTC) will fund the completion of the Automated External Defibrillators In Schools program and place a machine in every school in the province. 

Darin King says that it was a no-brainer for his organization to step forward and donate money to help fund the completion of the AED's in School's program. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

The program had previously stalled halfway through its target of installing AEDs in all schools after the Heart and Stroke Foundation ran out of funding for the project. 

"It is our sincere hope that with this financial commitment by our members the Heart and Stroke Foundation will make great strides in equipping schools that are not yet cardiac safe," said Darin King, executive director of the NLBCTC. 

Funding could save lives 

Heart and Stroke Foundation NL CEO Mary Ann Butt says that installing AED's in schools could save lives. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Heart and Stroke Foundation CEO Mary Ann Butt said the donation may mean the difference between life or death for students. 

She recalled an incident on Nov 7, 2016 when an 11-year-old suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at the Robert French Memorial Stadium in Conception Bay South and was brought back by an AED that had been installed there by the foundation.

Previously, only about half of N.L. schools had access to defibrillators. (CBC)

"Paramedics stated after the emergency that it was very unlikely that this boy would have survived without the AED," she said.

"Should his heart have arrested during school hours the outcome would have been very different."

With the donation, Newfoundland and Labrador will become the first province in Atlantic Canada to have AEDs installed in every school. 

About the Author

Andrew Sampson

Andrew Sampson is a journalist with CBC News in St. John's.