Sunday, March 28, 2010

Surplus Olympic defibrillators donated to public groups (Canada)

More than 200 community groups, aboriginal communities, search-and-rescue organizations, ski patrols, old-timer hockey leagues, schools and non-profit groups will receive surplus automatic external defibrillators that were used during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics. The gifts from the Vancouver Organizing Committee and Medtronic, the manufacturer, are in addition to defibrillators they left in every competition and non-competition venue. Shelley Parker, a spokeswoman for Medtronic, said nearly 350 groups across Canada applied for the machines, which can be used by bystanders when someone goes into cardiac arrest. More than 200 will be refurbished and distributed to the groups. A number of more advanced units that include monitoring devices and require a trained physician will also be delivered to sports development programs, university cardiac rehabilitation facilities and teaching institutions. The AEDs, as they are called, are in addition to seven that a Burnaby-based memorial society, the Gianfranco Giammaria Memorial Society, is installing in Vancouver city rinks. Dr. Mike Wilkinson, Vanoc's chief medical officer, said Medtronic agreed to the $2-million donation as part of its involvement as a "Friend of the Games." Medtronic expects to begin sending out the AEDs by May

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