Campaign for legislation on public access AEDs

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As we celebrate Heart Health month this February, the Jacques de Champlain Foundation is proud to announce that it is launching a public campaign for the adoption of legislation to increase access to defibrillators (AEDs) in public spaces in Quebec. This campaign, which is part of the Foundation’s mission to improve resuscitation care in Quebec, calls on all those concerned by the public health issue of cardiac arrests.

On Sunday February 14th 2021, the Foundation’s president, Dr. François de Champlain, published an open letter in La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal in which he called on Quebec’s Premier and the Health Minister to introduce legislation on public access to defibrillators (AEDs):

“Every minute that passes following a cardiac arrest, the chances of survival drop dramatically – 10% per minute. The science leaves no doubt that the use of AEDs greatly increases the chances of survival of a person in cardiac arrest and they are very easy to use, even without prior training.”

Dr. de Champlain’s letter goes on to say that “A recent Canadian study comparing provincial AED registries placed Quebec second-to-last with only 27 AEDs per 100,000 inhabitants, far behind Manitoba with 324 AEDs per 100,000 inhabitants.” Dr. de Champlain concludes by addressing the Premier and Health Minister directly, “Mr. Legault, Mr. Dubé, I am therefore addressing you during this Heart Health month to move quickly to adopt a law which should achieve consensus and demonstrate a fundamental principle of our Quebec society, namely benevolence.”

Currently, Manitoba and Ontario are the only provinces with public access AED legislation. A petition for a Quebec law on public access AEDs, launched by the Foundation the same day, has obtained more than 6,000 signatures as of February 20th. The Foundation seeks the support of at least 10,000 signatories. In Ontario, a similar petition garnered more than 6,000 signatures, leading to the adoption of their legislation on public access AEDs last summer.

Our spokesperson, Jean-Philippe LaRose, who is himself a cardiac arrest survivor at age 37 and was resuscitated thanks to a public AED, discussed this campaign during an interview with Bernard Drainville of 98.5 FM and Patrick Masbourian from Tout un matin. Dr. de Champlain also discussed the importance of this campaign with CBC.

The Jacques de Champlain Foundation is asking for your support by signing the petition and circulating it to your family, friends and colleagues. It has never been easier to save a life with a few clicks, so let’s hope for a #loiDEAQuebec soon!

For more information:

Jean-Philippe LaRose
Spokesperson and board member