Caroline Tison

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Did you know that brain damage begins after 4 minutes without oxygen?

Last month, a hockey player participating in the Dorval Oldtimers’ Tournament collapsed on the ice. One of the refs, who happened to be a trained first responder, used a defibrillator to help revive him. This recent incident and the fact that February is heart health month, has sparked me to ask: If someone next to you was to have an attack and collapse, would you know what to do while waiting for paramedics or first responders?  Do you know the exact technique?

If you answered yes to both questions, good for you (and for the person who just collapsed next to you). If you answered no to the latter question, you need to do something about it.  It could very well save a life.

According to the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) page on the City of Pointe-Claire web site, you need to do the following if you are with an adult who has a cardiac arrest:

  1. Yell for help and tell someone to call 9-1-1 and get an automated external defibrillator (AED).  If you are alone, call 9-1-1 and get an AED if one is available.
  2. Check breathing. If the person is not breathing or is only gasping, give CPR.
  3. Push hard and push fast.  Use an AED, if one is handy. If not, keep pushing until the person starts to breathe or until someone with more advanced training takes over.

It’s nice to be able to use an AED, but in many cases one will not be close by.  According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, almost 80 per cent of all cardiac arrests occur in homes and public places, and 35 to 55 per cent are witnessed by a family member, co-worker or friendPut very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love.  Unfortunately, the majority of people witnessing cardiac arrest do not perform CPR.

Did you know that when an unconscious person is not breathing, permanent brain damage begins after only four minutes without oxygen, and death can occur as soon as four to six minutes later? This is why every adult needs to learn hands-only CPR. Yes, the newest techniques emphasize compression over rescue breathing and airway, reversing long-standing practice. I didn’t know this. I found this out a few weeks ago when speaking with Eric Baudouy, a paramedic and co-founder of Fitness United in Dorval.

If you have 30 minutes, you can Become a HERO in 30 minutes by joining us on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 12:30 p.m.  For a $20 donation to Community Shares, Baudouy, a paramedic and certified instructor, will be giving a 30-minute workshop that may very well save the life of someone you are close to.  For more information, visit http://www.communityshares.ca/english/news%20and%20upcoming%20events/upcoming%20events/HeroIn30/default.asp?s=1

Are you on Facebook? Join the guest list, invite people, and help us spread the word!
Click here for the “Fitness United’s “Hero in 30″ CPR fundraiser”
to benefit Community Shares event page.

You can save a life while making a difference in your community.

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