Island Health to offer free CPR training in Victoria

Medical experts, cardiac arrest survivors will train participants how to help in an emergency

Island Health is offering the chance to learn simple life-saving techniques in a series of free training workshops, teaching CPR.

In collaboration with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and supported by BC Emergency Health Services, the Vancouver Island Teachers of Advanced cardiac life support (VITAL) will conduct three afternoon sessions at Royal Jubilee Hospital on April 20.

“It’s such a simple thing to learn and to teach and to do, and it makes such a huge difference for people,” says Dr. Tina Webber, VITAL co-founder and Island Health emergency physician.

Cardiac arrest occurs in 40,000 Canadians each year, but only 25 per cent of those people in B.C. receive care from bystanders. Cardiac arrest is sudden, and by training more people to know how to address a potentially life-threatening situation, patients have a better chance of survival.

The training is open to participants of all ages, particularly youth – over 700 cases of cardiac arrest occur in children per year.

“It’s not uncommon, I’m afraid,” says Webber, who has personally attended to at least three patients in their late teens.

She’ll join other medical professionals in demonstrating hands-only CPR and teach participants to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED), which she calls “a brilliant device” because it only deploys when someone has a heart rhythm incompatible with life.

People are often scared that they may harm somebody, but studies show the risk of significant injury from CPR is minimal, she says. “The majority of cardiac arrests occur in the home. This training means you have the opportunity to save a loved one’s life.”

Cardiac survivors will be on hand to share their stories about the importance of quick support when emergencies like these occur.

Webber points out CPR can also be also used as an initial step in attending to an overdose, as participants will learn how to recognize abnormal breathing. “It’s much easier for our community to think of giving CPR than giving someone a needle, or Narcan,” she says.

Participants who complete the training can download the PulsePoint Respond app. Tracking your location across the province, the app alerts users to a possible victim of cardiac arrest within 400 metres. The app will also provide direction to a public access defibrillator nearby, so you can begin CPR and use the AED until first responders arrive.

One-hour sessions start at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., with space for up to 100 participants in each. Register online at tinyurl.com/CHAMPS-RJH.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year on CTV

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Search and rescue look for missing man

Canoe and paddle reported adrift; thought to belong to James Milito, 40

Saanich homeowner feels harassed over unsightly premises dispute

Staff recommending council declare the items on Whiteside Road property be declared a nuisance

New club started for miniature horses in Sooke

Small animals are ‘incredible pets’

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Scientist warns of declining biodiveristy in Saanich

Saanich residents can learn more about the local effects of climate change… Continue reading

Most Read