The province is making finding publicly accessible automated external defibrillators easier for the public.
The bill, Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act, was introduced by Progressive Conservative Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Robin Martin. It passed third reading unanimously.
The law will create an AED registry, which, among other things, will ensure the locations of publicly accessible defibrillators are made available to 911 dispatchers, allowing them to direct callers to a nearby AED.
“There are more than 7,000 sudden cardiac arrests in the province each year, and the only effective life-saving treatment is an electrical shock from a defibrillator, delivered as quickly as possible,” Martin said in a news release. “During hearings held by the Standing Committee on Social Policy, we heard clearly from experts that the creation of a defibrillator registry, combined with public accessibility requirements, will help save lives across Ontario.”
The law also establishes requirements for installation, maintenance, testing and availability of defibrillators in designated locations. It also requires that AEDs have appropriate signage, be accessible for easy identification, and be properly maintained.
According to a release issued by the MPP, currently defibrillator installation and registration in Ontario is voluntary. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are approximately 1,500 registered AEDs with the province or local paramedic services, which is believed to be less than 10 per cent of the total number sold over the past 20 years.