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BC MLAs learning how to save lives through CPR training

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Victoria, B.C. – British Columbia MLAs are being trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use today at the legislature to raise awareness of the importance of fast bystander response to people in cardiac arrest.

MLAs will learn and practice the steps to responding to a cardiac arrest.  These include:

  • Phone 9-1-1 and shout for an AED;
  • Push hard and fast in the centre of the chest; and,
  • Use an AED as soon as it arrives.

The training, provided by Heart & Stroke and BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), supports a partnership between the two organizations and the provincial government to increase public access and awareness of defibrillators. 

This partnership has already resulted in 825 AEDs being donated to communities around the province, and the establishment of an AED registry, which is linked to 9-1-1 dispatch. When a 9-1-1 call is made for someone having a cardiac arrest, a dispatcher will coach the caller on how to perform hands-only CPR and be told where the nearest registered AED is located.

Every 13 minutes, someone across Canada suffers from cardiac arrest. In 2017, BC Ambulance Service paramedics responded to more than 7,000 cardiac arrest events in British Columbia.

To help improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates, BCEHS introduced PulsePoint, a digital app that allows dispatchers to alert app-users to a nearby cardiac arrest.

Early intervention is key as 85 per cent of cardiac arrests take place in homes or public places. The use of CPR and an AED, significantly increase the chances of survival. In fact, for every minute without CPR or an AED, the chances of someone surviving a cardiac arrest drops 7 to 10 per cent. Early CPR and the use of an AED in the first few minutes is critical as it can more than double the chances of surviving cardiac arrest.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health –
“We encourage every British Columbian to be ready, willing and able to respond to a cardiac emergency. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to act.”

Linda Lupini, BCEHS/PHSA Executive Vice President –
“At BC Emergency Health Services, our paramedics and dispatch staff have long recognized the critical role of bystander CPR. Bystanders can give a patient their best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by doing three simple steps: Learn CPR, download PulsePoint, save a life.”

Adrienne Bakker, CEO, Heart & Stroke, BC & Yukon –
“MLAs, as community leaders, play a key role in raising awareness of the significance of knowing CPR and the use of AEDs. I encourage them to tell their constituents to learn CPR and how to use an AED. It could save someone’s life.”

Jamie Maclaren, Cardiac Arrest Survivor –
“I survived a cardiac arrest earlier this year because a teammate knew CPR and there was a readily available AED at the rink where I was playing hockey. I was clinically dead but thanks to my teammates who knew what to do, I’m able to return home to my wife and little boy.”

About BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS)

BCEHS is responsible for the delivery and governance of pre-hospital emergency medical care and inter-facility patient transfer services through the BC Ambulance Service and the BC Patient Transfer Network. BCEHS is supported by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). For more information, please visit www.bcehs.ca or follow us on Twitter @BC_EHS.

About The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)

PHSA plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. Over the last 60 years, we have invested more than $1.45 billion in heart and stroke research, making us the largest contributor in Canada after the federal government. In that time, the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75 per cent. www.heartandstroke.ca

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Contact

Jennifer Randall Nelson, Communications Manager – BC & Yukon | Heart & Stroke
Mobile 604-505-4591 | Email: Jennifer.randallnelson@heartandstroke.ca

Fatima Siddiqui, Communications Manager | BCEHS
Mobile 604-660-2185 | Email: Fatima.siddiqui@bcehs.ca

BC Ambulance Service; BCEHS; CPR; community outreach; PulsePoint
 
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