Public Access Defibrillation

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is embarking on a new era of customer safety with the launch of public access defibrillation (PAD). Eighty public access automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been installed in public and staff areas throughout the airport. These life savers are easy to use and can make the difference between life and death for someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

What's an automated external defibrillator?

An automated external defibrillator, or AED, is a portable electronic device used to treat potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. The application of electrical therapy, or defibrillation, stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Why is PAD a public safety issue?

Each day, 100 Canadians die as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the most effective way to reduce this number is through widespread public access defibrillation (PAD).

Why launch this program now?

Edmonton International Airport has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years and now serves more than 10 million customers per year (passengers and those who come to welcome or see them off). Edmonton's Heart-Safe Program encourages the installation of PADs in major public buildings, and with current AED technology, machines are lightweight, intelligent and easy to use, making the time right for EIA to proceed with this program.

The AEDs installed throughout EIA feature a simple two-button function with clear voice prompts. The AED determines if a shock is required and the responder cannot deliver a shock without the machine initiating the procedure.

What is the public role?
As an EIA customer, you might be the first person to help someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. The time from collapse to the first defibrillation attempt is the most critical factor in increasing survival rates. With every minute that passes, a victim's chances of survival diminish by 10 per cent.

EIA Emergency Response Services (ERS) offers ongoing AED training as part of standard CPR training. Anyone with a valid CPR certificate can be a certified AED provider with four hours of training. For more information about AED training at EIA, please contact the EIA ERS Training Centre at 780 890 8376.