St. John Ambulance is hosting its annual Community CPR Day on Nov, 21 in Penticton.
Members of the community can learn how to save a life while earning their CPR A or CPR B certificate for free.
St. John Ambulance instructors will be leading the training, with volunteers on-hand to help participants one-on-one with the practical skills. Between Penticton and a free event in Kamloops, the two branches hope to train about 300 people.
The courses are suited for the general public and even those working in caregiving or teaching capacities. The CPR A course focuses on adult resuscitation, while CPR B also includes infant resuscitation. Recertification is recommended annually.
“CPR is such an important skill that everyone in the community should have,” said Whitney Leloup, manager of the St. John Ambulance branch in Penticton. “Given that November is CPR Awareness Month, what better way to demonstrate our commitment to educating the community than to offer free standard CPR training.”
CPR, or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, is a critical life support skill for use in emergency situations where a person is unresponsive and not breathing normally. By combining the basics of artificial respiration and artificial circulation, CPR enables oxygenated blood to reach the brain and other vital organs, until either the heart starts beating or medical assistance takes over. Artificial respiration provides oxygen to the lungs, while artificial circulation causes blood to flow through the body.
When the heart stops, brain damage can occur after just four minutes. After 12 minutes, the chance of survival drops to about five per cent. When time is of the essence, knowing CPR can not only prevent brain damage, but can also save a life.
Four out of five sudden cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places, and survival rates for people who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of hospitals are very low — roughly eight per cent of patients live. Members of the public who learn CPR are better prepared to help when someone collapses from cardiac arrest.
The importance of ventilation – or mouth-to mouth resuscitation – is supported by newly published research in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study demonstrates the importance of ventilation combined with chest compressions, rather than chest compressions alone. While both types of CPR achieve good outcomes, compressions with pauses for ventilations appear to be more effective.
Instances where a person may become unconscious and stop breathing include: choking, drowning, hypothermia, heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest.
St. John Ambulance certifies more than 550,000 people each year in first aid and CPR in Canada – with each person trained becoming a vital link in what’s known as the Chain of Survival. Proceeds from training also help fund vital community services, such as emergency and medical first response, youth programs, and therapy dog services.
To register for a course, contact your local St. John Ambulance branch or visit www.sja.ca or call 250-492-3377.