Ill equipped for emergencies

Most B.C. residents are likely to try and help when they are bystanders to a medical emergency, but most aren't skilled to step in themselves.

Those were the findings from a recent survey released by Ipsos and St. John Ambulance.

The survey said 85 per cent of respondents in the survey are "very likely to call 911" during a medical emergency. However, 38 per cent of respondents said they are confident with performing CPR, while 30 per cent said they would be able to use an automated external defibrillator. 

For St. John Ambulance, the survey results come as they are highlighting their 'HeartSET' campaign in March and April.

The campaign promotes residents getting CPR and AED trained, equipping their homes with an AED device and keeping their CPR and AED skills up to date.

"If one is HeartSET, it gives them the tools to save the life of a friend, family member, or stranger in the time of an emergency," Karen MacPherson said, CEO of St. John Ambulance's B.C. and Yukon division.

"Our communities would be tremendously safer with people empowered as bystanders to save lives when a cardiac arrest occurs."

According to St. John Ambulance, a Canadian suffers a cardiac arrest every 12 minutes, and 40,000 Canadians die from a cardiac arrest each year. 

The survey results also found 53 per cent of respondents fear they will cause further harm using an AED, 19 per cent worry about potentially being sued by the victim and 11 per cent worry they will get hurt themselves in the process.

More information on SJA's 'HeartSET' campaign can be found here.

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