New numbers from the Heart and Stroke Foundation show that about 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests take place in Canada every year – that is one every nine minutes.
The data also indicates that only one in 10 people who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital survive.
One person who was saved by fast-acting bystanders is Stefan Tergesen, a Manitoba man who went into cardiac arrest while at the airport in Toronto. He said his life was saved by a group of women who took action with CPR and an AED.
“Those four women and an AED machine started my heart up again, revived me and an ambulance came and picked me up, took me off to the Trillium Hospital in Toronto where within three days I had an angioplasty, a stent, and was put back out on the street happy and healthy,” he said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Monday.
Tergesen, who is also a Manitoba advisory board member for Heart and Stroke, said that everyone should try to learn CPR as even a bit of experience can go a long way. He also noted the benefits of AEDs and their “incredible technology.”
“The AED machines are miraculous,” he said. “You hook them up and you sit back and they tell you what to do.”
According to Heart and Stroke, immediate CPR helps to keep the blood pumping to keep vital organs alive, and AEDs work to restart the heart. The organization noted that CPR and AEDs can double a person’s chance of survival.
Tergesen added that everyone can help save someone during a cardiac arrest.
“There have been many cases where people who don’t know anything about this have been able to step in and revive a life,” he said. “Those of us who are revived are very thankful.”
– With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagace.