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STARS News Release

Learning CPR and AED use saves lives

October 27, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Calgary, AB, October 27, 2011 – The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) and the Lifesaving Society are encouraging Albertans to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

According to the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, over 20,000 people experience cardiac arrest in Canada outside of a hospital setting every year, and 85 per cent take place in a person's home. Fewer than 10 per cent survive such incidents.

These statistics are often realized by STARS flight crew members who respond to critically ill and injured patients across Alberta, including 1,453 emergency responses in 2010.

Since January 2002, STARS responded to 1,318 emergencies where patients required CPR prior to STARS crews arriving on scene.

“Research has confirmed that a cardiac arrest victim is four times more likely to survive if they receive bystander CPR. Unfortunately, this basic procedure is not performed in approximately 85 per cent of all cardiac arrest cases,” says Dr. Dennis Nesdoly, STARS chief medical officer. “Simple timely action by community bystanders during the first critical moments of a cardiac event may have the most significant impact on clinical outcome.”

“CPR saves lives, and the more individuals who learn CPR, and are willing to perform CPR, the better everyone's chance of surviving a cardiac arrest,” says Barbara Kusyanto, chief administrative officer of the Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories. “In addition to CPR, anyone can learn to use an AED, which are now very accessible in many public places, including schools, recreation centres and swimming pools.”

For more information:
Cam Heke
Manager, Media & Public Relations/
External Affairs and Communications
Media: 1-866-966-8277

Barbara Kusyanto
Chief Administrative Officer
Lifesaving Society Alberta & Northwest Territories
11759 Groat Road
Edmonton, AB T5M 3K6
Office: 780-415-1755
Cell: 780-289-1792