Resuscitation Program

Canadians experience roughly 45,000 cardiac arrests every year, but quick and appropriate action can dramatically improve the chance of surviving both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (heart attacks and strokes). The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF), whose mission is to reduce death and disability from heart disease and stroke, is dedicated to providing resuscitation training that will supply the necessary tools for managing sudden and life-threatening events.

HSF Resuscitation Programs provide specific training in

  • the recognition of early warning signs of heart attack and stroke;
  • the activation of emergency response systems (e.g. 9-1-1);
  • the application of early basic life support (BLS), including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation;
  • the application of advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) or pediatric advanced life support (PALS).

HSF Resuscitation Programs offer information and education to health-care providers (i.e., physicians, nurses, paramedics, etc.), first responders (i.e., police, firefighters, security personnel, lifeguards, etc.) and the general public. More than 1.2 million Canadians are trained or retrained each year, making it one of the most successful public-health-education programs in the country. Resuscitation skills have helped save many people, both in the community and in health-care facilities.

The foundation for all HSF Resuscitation Programs is the Chain of Survival™, an overarching approach that recognizes the relationship between healthy lifestyle choices and cardiovascular disease while reinforcing the urgency of timely treatments.

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To reach the widest possible range of participants, HSF courses are taught in a variety of settings, including workplaces, hospitals, community colleges and mass-training events. Many use video based classroom delivery, but video and self-directed courses are also offered. International resuscitation standards are set by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), which was founded in 1992 by a consortium that includes the HSF, American Heart Association (AHA), the European Resuscitation Council and the Resuscitation Councils of Australia and New Zealand. ILCOR leads and coordinates the regular review of international resuscitation science.

The HSF is a co-author of the 2010 Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care in North America and sets the resuscitation guidelines for Canada. The 2010 edition was produced with input from 356 resuscitation experts from 29 countries, a process that resulted in guidelines that are science-based, highly comprehensive and easily teachable. These guidelines are reviewed every five years and modified when there is clear evidence that changes will improve patient outcomes.

Links to provincial offices...