June 12, 2019 4:18 pm
Updated: June 12, 2019 4:19 pm

Saskatoon’s Heart Safe program saves 3 lives in under a month

Medavie Health Services West says 33 lives have been saved thanks, in part, to the Saskatoon Heart Safe program.

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Three lives have been saved in Saskatoon and area in the last month due, in part, to the Saskatoon Heart Safe program, according to Medavie Health Services West (MHS West).

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The credit also goes to owners who purchased an automated external defibrillator (AED) for their businesses and the employees who knew how to use the machines, MHS West said.

READ MORE: Saskatoon boys perform CPR, save grandmother’s life

The first of the three recent cardiac arrests happened on May 12 when Dwight Wittal, 69, was driving in Martensville, roughly 10 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

He went into cardiac arrest in front of Wrench Fitness. The owner of the business and a patron came to Wittal’s aid with an AED. He was shocked once and has since been released from hospital.

The second occurred on May 24 when a 79-year-old man was playing basketball at Zion Lutheran Church in Saskatoon.

An elderly man was shocked once at the scene by a caretaker and brought back to life, MHS West said. He is currently recovering at Royal University Hospital (RUH).

The most recent cardiac arrest happened on June 8 at the Nutana Legion after a 74-year-old man dancing at a wedding collapsed. A bartender applied the AED and shocked the patient once. He is also recovering at RUH.

WATCH (Aug. 13, 2018): CPR and AED training event aims to equip people in Saskatoon with skills, confidence to respond

Thirty-three lives have been saved since 2005 due to the program, MHS West’s director of public affairs Troy Davies said on Wednesday.

“Currently we have over 1,000 businesses who are registered, and have saved 33 lives which is the most in North America. The ages of the patients saved range from 34 to 79 years of age,” Davies said in a press release.

“We feel that AEDs are like fire extinguishers and should be in every building as cardiac arrests can occur at any time in any place … The bottom line is 33 people have been brought back to life and are back with their loved ones and that’s really all that matters.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon man recognized for heroic actions during house fire

Heart Safe has over 1,000 locations registered in Saskatoon and the surrounding area. The program is one of the top in North American for most AEDs per capita, according to Davies.

Businesses that would like to register can visit Saskatoon Heart Safe online or contact 306-374-7233. AEDs cost around $1,500, Davies said.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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