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CPR Makes You Undead!

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, in partnership with the City of Markham, Social Services Network and the Vedic Cultural Centre is making it easy for Markham residents to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

A free public CPR Skills & AED Awareness event will take place on Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 11am to 3pm at the Vedic Cultural Centre located at 4345 14th Avenue, Markham, ON (light lunch will be provided).

The first 120 participants who register will receive a free Heart&Stroke Foundation CPR Anytime™ Family & Friends™ kit (one per family, valued at $40). Everyone who completes the course will receive a CPR participation card.

To register, please contact Firdaus Ali, Heart and Stroke Foundation at 416-629-1689 or email

“This is a wonderful opportunity for South Asian individuals and families to be actively engaged in heart health and well-being. We hope as many people as possible can come out for this free CPR training event. Statistics indicate that CPR and AEDs can make the difference between life and death. The more people in our community who have these life-saving skills, the more lives can be saved,” says Anand Rupnarain, Board Chair, Vedic Cultural Centre.

With about 7,000 cardiac arrests in Ontario every year, the need to know CPR has never been more vital. The odds of surviving cardiac arrest can increase to up to 75% when early CPR is used in combination with an AED (automated external defibrillator) in the first few minutes. For every minute that passes without help, a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest drops by 7% to 10%.

“AED’s are becoming more visible and accessible. Anybody that participates in our services should feel safe knowing that these machines are there to save their life. Educating customers and building awareness is just going to build a stronger community,” says Adrian Wong, Community Program Coordinator with City of Markham.

The current survival rate for an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in Ontario is only 5-6%. Hands-only CPR can help boost those odds, and make the difference between life and death. “Multiple studies of migrant South Asian populations show a 3- to 5-fold increase in the risk for myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death as compared with other ethnic groups and they are also prone to developing coronary heart disease at a younger age. Considering the South Asian population is the largest multicultural community in Canada makes the impact of chronic diseases and barriers to accessing health services including chronic heart disease worrisome,” says Naila Butt, Executive Director, Social Services Network (SSN). “SSN is delighted to partner with Heart & Stroke Foundation on the CPR training event. It’s an excellent opportunity to increase awareness and empower the community to take care of their own health, prevent unnecessary illness and avoidable deaths.”

Social Services Network (SSN) is a not-for-profit, community-based organization providing supportive services to underserved, multicultural communities in the York region. Its mandate is to inform, educate, support and empower diverse South Asian communities to improve their health and quality of life.

“Research shows that key barriers stopping people from performing CPR are lack of CPR training, fear of harming the victim, and failure to understand the consequences of not doing CPR,” says Firdaus Ali, Health Promotion Specialist, Heart and Stroke Foundation. “This is why the Heart and Stroke Foundation urges all Canadians to learn CPR and makes it easy by offering free training clinics. The more people trained, the greater the chance of keeping a person who is experiencing cardiac arrest alive until an ambulance arrives. You don’t need to be a doctor to help save a life.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada sets the Canadian Guidelines for CPR, defibrillation and other aspects of emergency cardiovascular care in Canada. This free CPR Training Clinic is sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in partnership with City of Markham, Social Services Network and the Vedic Cultural Centre.

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