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Letter: More people should learn CPR and how to use an AED

Mary Ann Butt, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador speaks at a news conference Thursday. Thanks to $100,000 from the provincial government, the foundation will expand its Restart a Heart – Restart a Life campaign to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS) in public facilities throughout the province.
Mary Ann Butt, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. File photo

Would you know what to do if someone suddenly collapsed and was unresponsive? Or would you stand helplessly by, unprepared and unable to help?

During the month of November, the Heart and Stroke office in Newfoundland and Labrador is offering free basic CPR skills sessions for residents of the Northeast Avalon. Each of the sessions will take approximately one hour to complete and anyone is welcome to attend. This is not a certified course, but participants will learn the basics of CPR skills.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in our province and in all of Canada. Heart & Stroke wants people to be prepared and to react quickly and appropriately in an emergency. There are approximately 40,000 cardiac arrests in Canada per year, 85 per cent occurring away from hospital settings. With the current survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests a dismal five per cent, we need to do better.

For every one minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases.  An individual’s chance of survival is more than doubled when early CPR is used in combination with defibrillation.  CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use are essential skills that every person should know and have the confidence to use. They put the power to save a life in everyone’s hands.

On behalf of Heart & Stroke NL, I urge any of your readers interested in learning to save a life to contact our Resuscitation Program Co-ordinator, Sherry Healy at 709 383-1031 or via email at sherry.healy@heartandstroke.ca. Space is limited, so it’s important to book early.

Remember, it’s in your hands: being able to respond can make the difference between life and death.

MaryAnn Butt, CEO, NL

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

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