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PHOTO BY DONNA MARIE SEVILLA
The AED (Automated External Defibrillator) at the front desk at the Humber Fitness Centre with a Cardiac Safety Ready Kit

Donna Marie Sevilla
Health Reporter

November is CPR Awareness Month, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation is trying to inform the public that basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation knowledge can save a life.

On average, about 40,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals in Canada each year. Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Nadia Formigoni said it’s important to know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR.

CPR can be lifesaving, as the first three minutes are critical.

“The survival rate for those suffering cardiac arrests is five per cent. With CPR, the survival rate can be increased to 75 per cent,” said Formigoni.

The foundation has already kicked off its campaign with CPR Undead, which encourages people to learn a simple three step, hands-only method to performing CPR. Organizers said they hope this campaign will encourage more people to learn the procedure, and have the confidence to perform it when necessary. The CPR Undead was also to be represented last weekend at the Zombie Walk to increase awareness.

According to Humber health and safety coordinator Humaira Pirooz, Humber will not be participating in CPR Awareness month. However, the college is in the process of installing 40 automated external defibrillators, another tool that can be used in the case of a cardiac arrest.

“We’re going to have an audit to determine within a three-minute mark where to place the AEDs,” said Pirooz.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is used to diagnose the condition of the heart and treat it with and electric shock. These AEDs will available for the public to access and provide instructions so that any person is able to use the device in the case of a cardiac arrest.

According to Pirooz, the AEDs will be installed across campus by early 2014.

Second-year health and fitness promotion student Melanie Paterson, 32, said she has learned CPR, but has never been in a situation where she needed to use it.

She said she had to learn CPR for swimming lessons and for her program, and feels that it’s important for all people know how to perform CPR.

“You can be the most critical lifeline a person has until EMS arrives,” said Paterson.

To read more about this article, visit Humber Et Cetera online: CPR Awareness Month wants all to learn to save lives.

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