Canadian researchers contributing to better CPR and resuscitation science

    OTTAWA, Nov. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian emergency medicine specialists
presented the latest findings from a landmark North American resuscitation
research consortium this week at the largest international science conference
on heart disease.
    Top scientists from Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto are among the
principal investigators leading the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), a
massive resuscitation research initiative funded by the Heart and Stroke
Foundation of Canada (HSFC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), and Defence Research
and Development Canada (DRDC).
    ROC is the largest initiative of its kind aimed at improving survival
rates from sudden cardiac arrest and severe traumatic injury.
    Currently in Canada, less than five per cent of people survive an out-of
hospital cardiac arrest. ROC is investigating new resuscitation drugs, tools,
and techniques with an aim to dramatically increase these odds.
    A number of ROC research results were presented at the American Heart
Association's scientific sessions this week, just as CPR awareness month
starts in Canada:

    - ROC researchers are investigating how time of day and location affect
      your odds of having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
    - A ROC study finds that bystander CPR combined with bystander use of an
      automated external defibrillator more than doubled the chances of
      surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest compared with using CPR
      alone - and saved more than one life per day.
    - ROC research shows children and infants who experience non traumatic
      out-of-hospital cardiac arrests have better survival rates than
      previously thought - and higher survival rates than adults.
    - Where you live may predict IF you live: a ROC study concludes that the
      incidence and outcomes of cardiac arrests differ significantly by
      geographic region.
    - ROC research confirms that more lives are being saved by more 'hands-
      on-time' during CPR, a central theme in the 2005 Heart and Stroke
      Foundation CPR guidelines.

    "There are approximately 40,000 cardiac arrests each year in Canada and
80 per cent of them occur outside of hospitals," says Heart and Stroke
Foundation spokesperson and ROC researcher Dr. Jim Christenson. "By improving
bystander CPR rates, the quality of CPR, and EMS response times we should be
able to increase survival rates from five to 20 per cent. This would save an
additional 4,800 Canadian lives a year."
    Launched in March 2006, ROC is a $50 million Canada-U.S. research
collaboration that will result in new medical protocols for hospital staff,
paramedics, and other frontline workers treating cardiac and trauma patients.
The U.S. funding partners are the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute,
the lead U.S. agency, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the American Heart Association.
    "Too many Canadians die each year from sudden cardiac arrest and
traumatic events that occur outside the hospital," says Dr. Peter Liu,
scientific director with the CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory
Health. "This well-crafted collaborative research initiative will give us more
insight into the kinds of interventions that will make a dramatic difference
in the lives of affected patients in Canada and world-wide."
    "There is no question that a better strategy in improving the clinical
outcome of both cardiac arrests and excessive hemorrhage is highly valuable in
reducing morbidity and mortality," says Dr. Pang Shek of Defence Research and
Development Canada.
    November is CPR Awareness Month.

    The Heart and Stroke Foundation ( is a leading funder
of heart disease and stroke research in Canada. A volunteer-based health
charity, the Heart and Stroke Foundation leads in eliminating heart disease
and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and
its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.
    For more information on CPR, including innovative new training programs,

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Circulatory and
Respiratory Health ( is the major federal agency devoted to
funding research and researchers focused on etiology, mechanisms, prevention,
detection, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation of diseases of heart,
lung, blood vessel (including stroke), blood, sleep, and critical care. We aim
to 'make cardiorespiratory disease history.'

    Defence Research and Development Canada ( is an agency of
the Department of National Defence responding to the scientific and
technological needs of the Canadian Forces (CF). Its mission is to ensure that
the CF remains technologically prepared and operationally relevant. With a
broad scientific program, DRDC actively collaborates with the private sector,
academia, other government departments, international allies, and the national
security community to maximize research benefits to the CF, industry and
ultimately all Canadians.
    For more information, visit the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium website

For further information:

For further information: and interviews please contact: Jane-Diane
Fraser, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, (613) 569-4361, ext 273,; David Columbe, CIHR Media Specialist, (613) 941-4563, Mobile:
(613) 808-7526,; Nena Snyder, Defence Research
and Development Canada - Toronto, (416) 635-2036,

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