Topics: National, First Aid and CPR
November 03, 2014

(Ottawa, November 3, 2014) -  While the majority of Canadians believe that passers-by have a duty to help others who show signs of not breathing or are unconscious, many fear harming someone or legal ramifications from performing CPR, according to new polling released by the Canadian Red Cross.

“Most people are concerned about doing more harm than good when it comes to administering CPR on someone in need,” says Don Marentette, national manager of first aid programs with the Canadian Red Cross. “Taking a course helps alleviate those concerns by ensuring those responding to first aid emergencies know what to do and how to best help someone in need.”

New polling by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Red Cross is being released in November for CPR month - an annual campaign to promote the importance of this lifesaving skill. Approximately one in 10 deaths in Canada results from a heart attack and more than 50,000 Canadians experience heart disease every year.

Knowing what to do in the critical minutes after an attack can save a life, which is why Canadians are encouraged to take a CPR course. A course also provides information about the “Good Samaritan” legislation in most provinces and territories in Canada, which protects those who voluntarily come to the assistance of others in emergency situations.

“It takes no more than six hours to learn the skills necessary to potentially save a life, yet less than half of Canadians say they are confident they can help someone suffering from a cardiac emergency, and that’s just not enough,” says Marentette.

The latest polling shows that 51 per cent of respondents would not be confident to attempt CPR if they saw someone who is not breathing and unconscious, and only about 22 percent have taken a first aid/CPR course in the last three years.

“Taking a course or getting certified would go a long way in boosting the confidence of many Canadians in performing CPR if they needed to, and indeed, nine in 10 who were polled confirmed this,” he adds.

A Red Cross CPR course teaches how to recognize signs of breathing and circulation emergencies, how to call for help, perform CPR, and how to use a defibrillator. Applying CPR, when used with an automated external defibrillator, doubles a person’s chance of surviving a heart attack. The CPR technique helps blood flow to the heart and brain, buying time until medical experts arrive.

The Canadian Red Cross is a leading provider of CPR programs and has been offering them to Canadians for over 50 years. For more information or to find a course near you, visit www.redcross.ca/findacourse.

Canadians may also download the Red Cross First Aid app, where online tutorials and lifesaving knowledge are available immediately. Visit www.redcross.ca/apps.

Enter for a chance to win one of 10 first aid kits during CPR month, November 1- 30, 2014 by visiting www.redcross.ca/cprmonth

Follow @redcrosscanada on Instagram and Twitter for #CPRMonth tips throughout the month.