CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) save man's life in Toronto

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Once again, AEDs and CPR have proven their worth as a Toronto man is alive today thanks to the quick actions of bystanders.

On Sunday, January 13, a 51-year-old Toronto-area resident Paul Poce was playing hockey at the Malvern Recreation Centre when he collapsed to the ice after suffering a cardiac arrest. His son Ben Poce, who also works as a paramedic for Peel Regional Paramedic Services, immediately rushed to his father's side. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest, Poce called out to his teammates to dial 9-1-1, instructed his friend Shawn Nichols to start chest compressions, while he retrieved the on-site AED.

The life-saving device shocked his father's heart following voice-prompters. Paramedics from Toronto EMS arrived and continued care while transporting the man to hospital.  Mr. Poce is now home where he is recovering from surgery.

This save is the 48th in Ontario by an AED funded by the Foundation since 2006, and highlights the fact that with simple training in CPR and the availability of an AED to perform immediate defibrillation, anyone can save a life.

"This life saved is a testament to what happens when community members learn CPR and use an AED when it is within reach," said Andrew Lotto, Manager, Resuscitation Programs, Heart and Stroke Foundation. "With continued support of the public, community groups and funding partners, one day AEDs will be as commonplace as fire extinguishers in Ontario to save lives."

The placement of the AED at the Malvern Recreation Centre and training of staff was made possible through funds raised by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund and the Toronto EMS Cardiac Safe City Program.

"We are very excited that this program continues to save lives.  This is the third of four saves this year using AEDs in public places where training and maintenance is provided by the Toronto EMS Safe City Program.  The goal to make Toronto a truly "safe city" is being realized. Remarkable saves like this one demonstrate the success of the program," said Gayle Pollock, Commander Toronto EMS Cardiac Safe City Program.

When a person is in cardiac arrest, seconds count. Fewer than six per cent of people who have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive. When CPR is combined with the use of an AED in those early minutes, an individual's odds of surviving a cardiac arrest increases to up to 75 per cent.

"The statistics tell a compelling story," added Lotto. "CPR and AEDs absolutely save lives, and Ontarians can join the Heart and Stroke Foundation's efforts to boost survival rates by using these simple and effective tools if someone nearby suffers cardiac arrest." 

The CPR guidelines stress the early recognition of cardiac arrest urging people to call 9-1-1 or their local emergency number if they find someone collapsed and unresponsive, and not to delay by 'looking, listening and feeling' for breathing or pulse.

The guidelines also recommend that instead of trying to remember how many compressions and how many breaths, bystanders doing CPR simply "push hard and push fast" on the centre of the chest.

The Foundation recommends that all Canadians learn the life-saving skills of CPR and review this knowledge often. Learning and reviewing CPR skills has been made much easier with an at-home video kit, the Heart and Stroke CPR AnytimeTM for Family and FriendsTM. The kit teaches the basic skills of CPR in as little as 22 minutes. Visit http://www.cpranytime.ca to order yours today!

About the Heart and Stroke Foundation:
The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.

SOURCE: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

For further information:

Alexandra Maheux
Associate Manager of Media Relations
Heart and Stroke Foundation
416-489-7111 ext. 789

Kim McKinnon
Superintendent Public Information and Media
Toronto Emergency Medical Services

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Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

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