New CPR guidelines make it easier to save lives


Disco Beat sets the tempo for CPR Month this November
New Guidelines make it easier to save a Life

Ottawa– The Heart and Stroke Foundation will be shining the spotlight on new emergency care guidelines designed to simplify performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during CPR Month this November.

The new guidelines stress early recognition, urging people to call 9-1-1 or their local emergency number if they ever find someone collapsed and unresponsive, and not to delay by ’looking, listening and feeling’ for breathing or pulse. They also recommend that instead of trying to remember how many compressions and how many breaths, bystanders doing CPR are urged simply to “push fast and push hard.”

“Many people hold back from doing CPR because they are afraid they may do it wrong or that they may hurt the person,” says Dr. Andrew Travers. “We want to make it clear that technique is less important than doing chest compressions quickly and firmly.”

"Think of the ‘70s Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive and that will give you an idea of how fast compressions should be done.”

“We know Canadians want to help, especially given the fact that four out of five cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places,” says Linda Piazza, director of health policy and research with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. “These changes make CPR easier to learn, easier to do and we believe people will be more likely to step in and respond to a cardiac emergency.”

Overall, the odds of surviving a cardiac arrest are almost four times greater if someone performs CPR right away. When CPR is combined with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and used within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, survival rates can increase by as much as 75 percent. Without CPR and defibrillation, fewer than 5 per cent of people who have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive.

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.

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 more information contact:
Eileen Melnick McCarthy, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
T: 613.569.4361 ext. 318