Canadians not confident they could respond to a heart attack: New Red Cross app helps users provide life-saving first aid

Topics: National, First Aid and CPR
November 07, 2013

Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians say they have been in an emergency situation where they have had to perform first aid, but few believe they could help someone suffering a heart attack. November is CPR Month, an annual campaign to promote the importance of CPR as a life-saving skill. The Red Cross urges Canadians to take a course and download the free First Aid App to keep their life-saving skills up to date.

“Downloading the free Canadian Red Cross First Aid App puts critical knowledge in your hands, and helps Canadians provide life-saving assistance any time, any where,” says Don Marentette, national manager of first aid programs. “Only 15 per cent of Canadians say they could confidently help someone suffering from a heart attack, but it takes only half a day to learn the necessary skills to save a life.”

Available for Apple and Android mobile devices, the app helps users maintain their first aid skills and respond to everyday emergencies. Users get instant access to videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice to help them maintain their life-saving skills and respond when needed.

Approximately one in 10 deaths in Canada directly results from a heart attack.  In large urban centres, the average ambulance response time is more than eight minutes, but permanent brain damage is likely to occur within four to six minutes after a person stops breathing.

“CPR, when used with an AED and started immediately after a heart attack, can double a person’s chance of surviving,” adds Marentette.

Red Cross CPR courses teach important life-saving skills, including how to recognize signs of breathing and circulation emergencies, and how to call for help, perform CPR, and use an AED. The Red Cross is the only national training agency to include mandatory AED training.

The Canadian Red Cross is a leading provider of first aid and CPR programs and has been offering first aid and CPR training to Canadians for more than 50 years. For more information, or to find a course near you, visit

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