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ACT High School CPR Program: An Innovative Method to Increase Incidence of Bystander CPR

OTTAWA, Ontario, September 24, 2004 — Research published in the September issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology highlights the need for citizen CPR training, further supporting the importance of the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada’s effort to set up a mandatory CPR program in every Canadian high school.

Related research published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) highlights citizen CPR as a “crucial intervention” which significantly impacts cardiac arrest survival rates and suggests that doubling citizen CPR rates from the current 15% to 30% would see more than a thousand lives saved across Canada each year. Both studies underscore the immediate need to increase citizen CPR training.

The ACT Foundation has raised funds to donate over 15,000 mannequins to high schools. Over 500,000 students have been trained by their teachers in over 700 schools.

Earlier this week, ACT and its corporate health partners received Imagine’s 2004 “New Spirit of Community” Partnership Award, presented by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy for ACT’s high school CPR program.

Based on the ACT program, three provinces – Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba – have implemented CPR into their curricula. ACT is urging other provinces to follow suit and is fundraising for mannequins for high schools across Canada.

About ACT
The ACT Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program setup. ACT’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma and Pfizer Canada. The ACT High School CPR Program already exists in 700 high schools in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nunavut. To date, over 500,000 students from across Canada have been trained in CPR through this program.