The View from The Niagara Guide

General observations and musings on how we can make Niagara a better place.

What does "Heart Safe" Mean to You?

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I recently read an article on the Welland Tribune website that says Wainfleet is now the first "heart safe" community in Niagara.

Here's the link to the article.

http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2013/08/24/niagaras-first-heart-safe-community

I have no doubt that all those who put together the program have great intentions. What I question is the notion that defibrillators truly make a community "heart safe".

It's kind of like saying cars are safe because of their roll cages and airbags while ignoring the fact that people crash their cars on a regular basis and have to make use of those devices. The fact is that all cars are safe - until they crash - so one might think that avoiding crashes is the safest option and one that should be pursued. Since dealing with the causes of crashes (which in my opinion are 95% the responsibilities of one or more drivers) is harder to deal with than their symptoms (the crash), the focus shifts to the "safety" devices like airbags.

Wainfleet was chosen as the first community in the program because "Wainfleet has much higher instances of cardiac disease than the rest of the region". I hope Wainfleet is being more aggressively targeted for education and awareness campaigns by the Niagara health department. Then again, perhaps that's just me - hoping that the causes of disease will be addressed rather than the symptoms.

What do you think? Is this a good idea on its own? I'm open to hear your perspectives.




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