By Charmaine Gooden
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians say too many Canadians are dying from cardiac arrests because bystanders are reluctant to get involved, either because they lack the training or fear their CPR skills are rusty. Emergency room doctors want all Canadians to learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and they want a focus on senior citizens, the population most likely to witness a cardiac arrest and be in a position to respond.
“It must become a moral obligation and a social expectation that bystanders will perform chest compressions (with or without mouth-to-mouth ventilation) when they witness a cardiac arrest,” said the paper. Cardiac arrests victims are three to four times more likely to survive when receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from bystanders, but CPR rates rarely exceed 25% in Canada. All Canadians should respond and provide chest compressions (with or without mouth-to-mouth ventilation) whether they are trained or not, when an adult, child or infant suddenly collapses. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in North America.