The importance of being educated in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Every year there is an estimated 70,000 heart attacks in Canada, which is one heart attack every seven minutes.
Not only are most heart attacks preventable, but most result in death and happen outside the walls of a hospital. If CPR is applied within a few minutes of cardiac crisis, the victim’s chance of survival can be doubled and even tripled. If a higher percentage of Canadians were trained in CPR, the number of heart attack and stroke related deaths each year would be significantly reduced. According to the American Heart Association, the survival of someone experiencing a stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrest depends on immediate care from someone nearby. “The people we are most likely to do CPR on are people that we know, they are people that we care about and we want them to survive, so to be in a situation where it’s our dad, it’s our uncle and we don’t know what to do… it’s terrifying,” said Riverside teacher, Ms. Alaina Brandsma.
It is not only the initial training that is important but having the proficient ability to perform CPR requires a certain amount of practice. “Getting re-certified builds confidence to do it again, it becomes second nature. You just know that you’ve practiced it and you’ve practiced it recently and you’re good to go,” said Brandsma. It is recommended that everyone who has been previously certified get recertified on a yearly basis.
What many previously certified adults and teenagers do not realize is that the Canadian Red Cross CPR certificates have an expiration date of three years; in other words, three years after having been certified your certification will be deemed invalid and no longer accepted.
For those who have not been CPR certified through school or for those who wish to be recertified, the Canadian Red Cross offers frequent training programs and opportunities in all communities.