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QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, June 2, 2005 — Quebec MNAs will learn the importance of citizen CPR training and discover how easy it is to learn the lifesaving skill through an introduction to CPR provided by the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada today at the National Assembly. The event, held in the Papineau Room of the Hôtel du Parlement at 1:30 p.m., will also introduce MNAs to the lifesaving ACT High School CPR Program, which the ACT Foundation aims to bring to all Quebec high schools.

The ACT High School CPR Program has already received the support of key government officials, including Minister of Health Philippe Couillard. Minister Couillard has provided funding from his discretionary budget to allow ACT to implement the program in several Quebec high schools. He also joins the ACT Foundation in hosting today’s CPR awareness event for MNAs.

Research indicates that CPR response by citizens can improve the out-of-hospital survival rate for cardiac arrest almost fourfold. With 85% of cardiac arrests occurring at home, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

Interest in the ACT High School CPR Program in Quebec continues to increase.

“In fact,” says ACT’s Executive Director Sandra Clarke, “momentum has built so incredibly over the past year that we’ve more than doubled the number of schools in which we’ve set up the program from 20 to 50. This past school year, 7,500 Quebec youth were trained in CPR. Upon full Quebec-wide implementation, the program will reach 375 schools and 75,000 students every year.”

The ACT High School CPR Program teaches youth the 4 Rs of CPR: Risk, Recognize, React and Resuscitate. Students learn about: risk factors for cardiovascular disease and the importance of heart healthy living; how to recognize the early warning signs of a cardiac emergency; how to react and the importance of calling 911 early. Students also learn resuscitation or CPR and the Heimlich Manoeuvre. They will be prepared to help a parent or grandparent should they experience a heart attack or cardiac arrest, a brother, sister or child they are babysitting should they choke, or a friend involved in a drowning emergency. All youth will be predisposed to “acting” in an emergency rather than standing by as helpless witnesses.
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 set-up. The foundation has already established the CPR program in over 700 high schools across Canada. By the end of the 2004-2005 school year, over 700,000 Canadian students will have been trained to date through this program.

The ACT Foundation’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the foundation’s national goal of empowering youth to save lives. ACT’s provincial partners in Quebec are: Groupe Jean Coutu, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Scotiabank and Sun Life Financial. For more information