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Defibrillators to be installed in northern First Nations

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A portable defibrillator unit sits in a hallway at a high school in Brandon, Man.

COLIN CORNEAU / BRANDON SUN FILES Enlarge Image

A portable defibrillator unit sits in a hallway at a high school in Brandon, Man.

Thirty northern First Nations now have 73 life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs), the province said today.

The medical devices are to be installed in public places by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Health Minister Erin Selby and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson said.

Defibrillators deliver an electric shock to restart a stopped heart and are programmed to detect whether a person is having an irregular heart rhythm that indicates potential cardiac arrest.

The kits have step-by-step instructions so training is not needed.

Manitoba was the first province requiring public places to have AEDs available on-site including gyms, indoor arenas, certain community centres, golf courses, schools and airports. There are currently 2,875 AEDs registered in public places across Manitoba.

A full list of designated public places required to have a defibrillator is available here.

Last year, the province provided $1.3 million to purchase and distribute 1,000 AEDs to non-profit and community-owned facilities through the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba including those provided to MKO.

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