High school CPR trained students saving lives across Canada

OTTAWA, Feb. 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When 15-year-old Madeleine Caza’s father suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, her quick-thinking heroics and use of CPR helped save his life. Madeleine was trained through the ACT High School CPR and AED Program, which has seen over 5 million students trained by their teachers to date.

“In celebration of Heart Month, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation recognizes students and teachers who have learned lifesaving knowledge and skills through the ACT High School CPR and AED Program,” says Sandra Clarke, Executive Director, ACT Foundation.

Recent data from the Heart and Stroke Cardiac Arrest Report, utilizing CanROC statistics, reveals a remarkable increase over the past several decades in bystander CPR rates ranging from 42% to 72%. Contrastingly, national rates were once as dismally low as 2-3%. The Report also indicates that survival rates have doubled over the past decades.

The ACT Foundation has established the free program in 1,800 high schools across Canada with the support of its national health partners, Amgen Canada and AstraZeneca Canada, and provincial and community partners.

“Beginning with the initiation of the High School CPR program several decades ago, the organization is equipping students across Canada with essential life-saving skills and the confidence to respond effectively in emergencies,” says Michael Austin, MD, National Medical Director, ACT Foundation. 

Like Madeleine, students across Canada are ready to act and many are saving lives. To read Madeleine’s inspiring rescue story and more, click here.

“We’re proud to be a long-standing partner of the ACT Foundation — supporting its goal of establishing CPR and defibrillator training and Opioid Overdose Response Training in Canadian high schools, providing youth with critical lifesaving skills, and raising awareness of the importance of cardiovascular health,” says Gena Restivo, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, AstraZeneca Canada.

“Amgen is honoured to support the ACT Foundation as a National Health Partner. Rescue stories like Madeleine’s are a testament to the quality of the program and the criticality of ensuring that the education community is equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute. Together we will continue to advance excellence in science literacy, inspire the next generation, help educators to teach more effectively, and improve access to resources for teachers, students, and society at large,” says Ugur Gunaydin, Vice-President and General Manager, Amgen Canada. 

To learn more about ACT, click here.

About the ACT Foundation 
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the national charitable organization establishing free CPR and AED training in Canadian high schools, and how to respond to a suspected opioid overdose, a new aspect of the program. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning, community-based model of partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners who donate mannequins and AED training units that schools need to deliver the program. High school teachers are trained to teach lifesaving skills to their students as a regular part of the curriculum, reaching all youth prior to graduation. ACT’s national health partners are AstraZeneca Canada and Amgen Canada. For more information, visit www.actfoundation.ca or Twitter @actfoundation. #ACT2Save 

For media interviews and information: 
Jennifer Russell, Director of Operations 
ACT Foundation 
jrussell@actfoundation.ca; Tel: (613) 729-3455 ext. 102; Toll: (800) 465-9111