New CPR technique simplifies saving lives

    OTTAWA, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the Heart and Stroke
Foundation of Canada (HSFC), chest compressions alone, or Hands-Only
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), can save lives and can be used to help an
adult who suddenly collapses.
    The HSFC today supported a new American Heart Association scientific
statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
    Hands-Only CPR is a potentially lifesaving option that can be used by
people not trained in conventional CPR, or those who are unsure of their
ability to give the combination of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth
breathing required.
    There are some caveats, however, about when and where to use this new
technique, according to the Foundation. "The new recommendations apply only to
bystanders who witness an adult cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting,"
notes Dr. Allan de Caen, chair of the HSFC Policy Advisory Committee on
Resuscitation. "Conventional CPR is still an important skill to learn, and
medical personnel should still perform conventional CPR in the course of their
professional duties."
    Hands-Only CPR should also not be used for infants or children, for
adults whose cardiac arrest is from respiratory causes (like drug overdose or
near-drowning), or for an unwitnessed cardiac arrest. In those cases, the
victim would benefit most from the combination of both chest compressions and
breaths in conventional CPR.
    "Clearly the best option is for all Canadians to be trained in all the
steps of CPR, so they are prepared for any emergency," says Dr. de Caen. "But
the science is pointing to good results with this simplified technique, and if
it helps us improve the rates of bystander CPR, and therefore the chances of
survival after cardiac arrest, that would be a tremendous advance."
    According to the Foundation, member of the public who witness the sudden
collapse of an adult but who are not able or willing to perform rescue
breathing should immediately call 9-1-1 and start what is called Hands-Only
CPR. This involves providing high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard
and fast, at a rate of about 100 times per minute, in the middle of the
victim's chest, without stopping until emergency medical services (EMS)
responders arrive.
    Over 80 per cent of cardiac arrests happen at home or in public places -
and less than five per cent of these victims survive. Research shows that
35 to 55 per cent of out-of-hospital arrests are witnessed by a bystander,
often a family member or friend, but very few victims receive CPR. Just
calling    9-1-1 and pushing hard, repeatedly, on the victim's chest until
help arrives will go a long way to helping the person survive.
    The emphasis on hands only CPR as an option for responding to a witnessed
adult arrest is supported by evidence published from three separate large
studies in 2007, each describing the outcomes of hundreds of instances of
bystanders performing CPR on cardiac arrest victims. None of those studies
demonstrated a negative impact on survival when ventilations were omitted from
the bystanders' actions.
    The Foundation still encourages the public to obtain conventional CPR
training, which includes the skills needed to perform Hands-Only CPR, as well
as the additional skills needed to care for a wide range of cardiovascular-
and respiratory-related medical emergencies, especially for infants and
    "We understand that there are lots of reasons why people find it
challenging to learn CPR, including a lack of time, which is why we've
introduced new training products to Canada, like CPR Anytime(TM) Family &
Friends(TM), a 22 minute video instruction for individuals," says Stephen
Samis, HSFC director of health policy.

    More information on CPR training can be found at
Information on the Foundation's CPR Anytime(TM) Family & Friends(TM) training
kit can be found at

    The Heart and Stroke Foundation (, a
volunteer-based health charity, 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 further information:

For further information: Jane-Diane Fraser, Heart and Stroke Foundation
of Canada, (613) 569-4361, ext 273,; Heather Rourke, Heart and
Stroke Foundation of Canada, (613) 569-4361 ext 318,

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890