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SOUTH WESTERN ONTARIO COMMUNITY IS SPONSORED BY:

Jeff Heuchert

Jeff Heuchert

Perth County EMS director Linda Rockwood instructs Grade 6 student Josh Albrecht on how to administer CPR at a training session at Shakespeare Public school Friday.

Students receive hands-on CPR training

The Heart and Stroke Foundation and Perth County EMS were busy last week making it easy for students in Stratford to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Recently, the Heart and Stroke Foundation launched an aggressive campaign to raise awareness about CPR, with the theme, “CPR Makes You Undead.” The new campaign features an edgy, horror-movie style video that teaches people what to do if someone suffers cardiac arrest and helps raise awareness of the benefits of hands-only CPR.

More than 100 Grade 8 students attended a free CPR skills and AED (automated external defibrillator) awareness session last Tuesday at Jeanne Sauvé Catholic school, and another 100 Grade 6-7 kids received the specialized training on Friday at Shakespeare Public school.

“This is a great opportunity for these students to receive free CPR training,” noted Chris Keyser, Perth County EMS platoon commander and Perth County PAD coordinator. “Statistics indicate, and I know from my own experience on the job, that CPR and AEDs can make the difference between life and death. “The more people in our community with these life-saving skills, the more lives may be saved.”

There are 7,000 cardiac arrests in Ontario every year, and the odds of surviving one increases to up to 75 per cent when early CPR is used in combination with an AED in the first few minutes. For every minute that passes without help, a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest drops by seven to 10 per cent.

According to Christine Hurtado, health promotion specialist with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the key barriers stopping people from performing CPR are lack of training, fear of harming the victim, and failure to understand the consequences of not doing CPR.

“This is why the Heart and Stroke Foundation urges all Canadians to learn CPR and makes it easy by offering free training clinics. The more people trained, the greater the chance of keeping a person who is experiencing cardiac arrest alive until an ambulance arrives.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada sets the Canadian Guidelines for CPR, defibrillation and other aspects of emergency cardiovascular care in Canada.

To learn more, visit cprundead.ca.

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