At AEDs Today, we always enjoy sharing stories of lives saved by AEDs. Today, however, we are sharing a much more somber tale.

Jordan Boyd, a 16-year-old hockey player from Nova Scotia, died after going into cardiac arrest due to an undiagnosed heart condition at a youth team training camp last August. 

It’s a tragedy we’ve seen many times before, but it becomes no easier to deal with. A young athlete’s life suddenly cut short always brings with it feelings of shock, sadness, and disbelief.

But now, new information has come to light that makes Boyd’s death even harder to swallow.

No AED was used on Boyd until after the paramedics arrived, about ten minutes after he collapsed. This was despite a league requirement that all rinks be outfitted with one.

In the first minutes immediately following his collapse, bystanders reportedly treated it as a simple fainting case. It wasn’t until three minutes into the call with the dispatcher that they began to treat it as cardiac arrest and CPR was reportedly administered.

Despite also being instructed to use an AED if one was available, however, the paramedics who arrived on the scene would later report that they saw no evidence of an AED being used.

Boyd would be pronounced dead at the hospital not long after.

We must be clear: In no way can anyone claim that Boyd would definitely be alive if someone had used an AED on him. There is no “magic bullet” for cardiac arrest that brings the survival rate to 100%.

However, we can say that Jordan Boyd was not given the best possible chance to survive.

We’ve talked before about the survival rates of cardiac arrest compared to the time it takes for an AED to be used. If an AED is used in the first five minutes, the victim’s odds of survival jump to 90%, up from 5% if no AED is used.

For every minute that passes without defibrillation, the survival rate drops 7-10%.

There’s no way to say for certain that Jordan Boyd’s life would have been saved, but it sure would have given him a chance.