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Less than 1 in 3 Toronto bystanders who witness a cardiac arrest try to help: Study
Date:11/6/2009

TORONTO, On November 6, 2009 Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital working in conjunction with EMS services, paramedics and fire services across Ontario found that a bystander who attempts cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can quadruple the survival rate to over 50 per cent. But Dr. Laurie Morrison and the research team at Rescu (www.rescu.ca) have found only 30 per cent of bystanders in Toronto are willing to help, one of the lowest rates of bystanders helping others in the developed world.

"Over the last four years, we have been working hard with paramedics and firefighters in Southern Ontario to increase the survival rate of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital," says Dr. Morrison. "Since 2004, our efforts have managed to triple the survival rate in the Toronto area but it is still less than 10 per cent."

Compared to other cities during the same time frame, Toronto has much lower rates of bystander CPR and survival. The research team wants to encourage all Canadians to learn the basics of CPR. Home is one of the most common places for cardiac arrests so learning CPR could mean saving a family member's life.

"Even if you perform hands-only CPR, and focus on compressing the chest, you can give a victim of cardiac arrest as much as a 1 in 2 chance of surviving," says Dr. Marco Di Buono, Director of Research at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, "on the contrary, doing nothing virtually guarantees the victim will not survive at all."

Dr. Morrison's research group, Rescu (www.rescu.ca), is based out of St. Michael's and dedicated to out of hospital resuscitation. It is a collaborative network of EMS and fire services, paramedics and firefighters and over 40 hospitals in Southern Ontario. Rescu is the largest research program of its kind in Canada and the US, and is world renowned for their clinical trials in out of hospit
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Contact: Julie Saccone
sacconej@smh.toronto.on.ca
416-864-5047
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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