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Medical professionals held a public forum at Kelowna’s library on Saturday for people wanting to learn more about heart health.

Dozens attended, including cardiologists and families who have lost loved ones to sudden cardiac problems.

David Fowlie’s only child, Michael, collapsed suddenly at the age of 28.

“An AED was 600 metres away, but unfortunately nobody was sent to go get it,” he said.

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Michael died of a sudden cardiac arrest, Fowlie said.

“It’s the ultimate loss in life. There’s no greater loss than losing your only child,” he added.

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Doctors said apps like Pulse Point, which lists AED locations throughout the community, are helping lead to better outcomes.

“We all carry a phone. So if somebody says there’s an AED 100 metres away, you can act. There may come a time soon when the drone will deliver the AED to the person on the ground, and the person giving CPR stops, puts the AED on, and saves their life,” said cardiologist Dr. Andrew Krahn.

Doctors said people also need to be more aware of possible symptoms that could indicate heart problems.

“A good example is fainting,” Krahn said. “It’s like a little miniature cardiac arrest that fixes itself. If people are aware that fainting is sometimes dangerous, not usually, but sometimes, that can be very helpful.”

“These are conversations that are good to have at home with your kids. Make CPR be a normal thing, OK to talk about, just like a peanut allergy,” BC Children’s Hospital cardiologist Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani said.