November is CPR Month, and the Canadian Red Cross wants you to be somebody who saves a life.
If you witness a person in need of medical first response attention, it’s most likely to be a loved one, or someone you know.
Moose Jaw resident David Jukes knows this powerful statistic all too well. Jukes and a friend had a close call in the summer, involving a cardiac medical emergency.
“I was at my cabin, and a friend went into distress,” Jukes said. “Luckily I was able to get him to the hospital in time.”
The scenario that everyone dreads happening had a profound effect on Jukes, who is now planning to take CPR and defibrillator training.
This is the kind of story Tannis Nostedt wants to hear.
“It is a life-saving skill ... we have surgeons begging us to train the public,” said Nostedt, the Canadian Red Cross's Director of First Aid and Water Safety for Western Canada. “The surgeons are saying, ‘If people don’t have CPR training to help save lives, then they can’t arrive to us at the hospital.’”
Nostedt pointed out only one in every ten Saskatchewanians has certified CPR training and wants to see that statistic change dramatically.
“I want Saskatchewanians to get out there and get trained," she said. "The public (holds) the difference in saving a life.”
According to the Canadian Red Cross, almost 60 per cent of Canadians who have had to perform first aid used it to help a family member. About 70 per cent of heart attacks occur at home, and thus CPR training will most likely be used to help loved ones.
“If you are present when a loved one collapses and you don’t know what to do, you’re going to have that feeling in the back of your mind that you could have done more,” Nostedt offered. “If you have the training and apply it, at least you can say to yourself, ‘I did everything I could.' It doesn’t bring them back, but it does offer peace of mind.”
Nostedt said the easiest way to find out where and when the nearest CPR training sessions are taking place in your community is to visit the Red Cross website.
“You can enter your postal code on the site," she said, "and it will be able to give you the closest locations and lists of what courses are available to sign up for.”
For more information, visit redcross.ca.
Pick up the next issue of the Times-Herald to learn more.