November, CPR month

CPR Month

Did you know that November is CPR Month?

It's an especially important month for Académie Saint-Bernard and our mission to build a safer future.


This month is the perfect opportunity to share the reasons why learning CPR is so important. The story at the end of this article is a perfect example. What's more, it's important to know that our training courses meet the needs of almost any type of audience.


The evolution of vital knowledge


What is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consists of a series of maneuvers designed to preserve oxygenation of the organs of an unconscious victim who has stopped breathing and whose heart has stopped beating.


This sequence of maneuvers, which includes cardiac massage and ventilation, manually compresses the heart muscle and re-establishes blood circulation in the victim of cardiac arrest. In this way, the victim is kept alive until help arrives.


A little history...

In 1740, the Paris Academy of Sciences recommended the use of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions to save a drowning victim in the waters of the Seine. However, CPR standards were introduced almost 200 years later, in the 1950s.


Indeed, it wasn't until 1958 that researchers at Johns Hopkins University accidentally discovered that chest compressions on a dog with ventricular fibrillation could bring back the presence of a femoral pulse.  


Later, in 1964, Dr. Fred Wilson made one of the country's first landmark discoveries in resuscitation. When a woman in her sixties went into cardiopulmonary arrest after presenting to Dr. Wilson's emergency room with chest pain, he decided to start CPR while one of his nursing colleagues fetched a defibrillator from another operating room. Following CPR, he quickly placed the defibrillator on the patient. She was resuscitated within seconds. Following this discovery, he decided to form an official resuscitation team at his hospital, with their own "emergency cart" that included a defibrillator.


Here's why learning CPR is everyone's business!

When cardiac arrest occurs, every second counts. For every minute that passes without resuscitation, the chances of survival decrease by around 10%.


Reason 1: You can save lives

A landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that CPR performed by first responders can almost quadruple survival rates.


Similarly, the quality of life of victims who survive cardiopulmonary arrest is significantly better in those who receive CPR, by first responders, before help arrives. This is because the manual circulation of blood throughout the body by the rescuer reduces the risk of cell death.


Reason 2: You'll acquire the knowledge you need to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, by combining CPR maneuvers with the use of an AED, the chances of survival of a victim of cardiorespiratory arrest are increased by 75% or even more.


In short, the administration of the AED electrical shock by the first responder can enable the heart to return to its normal rhythm.


Similarly, the use of an AED has been shown to increase the victim's survival rate when the user has received CPR/AED training.


Reason 3: You'll gain the confidence to intervene without hesitation in an emergency.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 8 out of 10 cardiac arrests occur at home or in public places.


This means you may one day have to intervene quickly to save the life of a loved one. Hesitating to act for fear of not doing the right thing can have serious consequences. Without immediate care, 95% of cardiorespiratory arrests are fatal.


Similarly, the quality of life of victims who survive cardiorespiratory arrest is significantly better in those who receive CPR from first responders before help arrives. This is because the manual circulation of blood throughout the body by the rescuer reduces the risk of cell death.


So learning CPR through training, and updating your knowledge regularly, gives you the confidence to act in an emergency. So you can do your utmost to save the victim's life.


Reason 4: You're helping to build a safer future

Statistics from the Heart and Stroke Foundation show that only 5% of victims of out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest survive. This is a worrying statistic, given that the majority of strokes occur in public places or at home.


On the other hand, citizens are not deprived of the means to deal with this grim fact. In fact, teaching CPR to more people could significantly increase the survival rate of victims.


A society equipped with citizens who know how to react in emergency situations is not only safer, it's much more reassuring for everyone.


Training tailored to your needs

Académie Saint-Bernard offers a wide range of training courses to meet a variety of needs, so that as many people as possible can learn life-saving techniques.


By offering 100% online training, available 24/7, we aim to provide a learning option that allows each candidate to progress at his or her own pace, at times that are most convenient for them.


We offer "general public" training that opens the door to any citizen wanting to contribute with us to building a safer future to learn how to save lives. In just 4 hours, you can learn the basics of resuscitation, while an 8-hour course teaches CPR and first aid.


We also offer customized training to meet specific needs. For example, our "First Aid - Adapted to Early Childhood" course meets the needs of early childhood educators. Another example is our "High School CPR" course, which gives high school teachers all the tools they need to teach their students the subtleties of CPR principles.


The story of Gabriel Aubin Laberge

Shared on April 9, 2017 by Jonathan Guay in Le Journal de Montréal

Only a few days after Gabriel completed his CPR training renewal, he was called upon to perform life-saving actions. The young man, who had actually hesitated to do his training renewal, stressed that without this course, he would not have been able to act.


In short, one evening at work, a customer fell unconscious. His heart had stopped. Gabriel quickly sprang into action and began resuscitation.


A life was saved that evening, thanks to Gabriel's quick action and to his colleague Samantha Goodman, who rushed to get a defibrillator.


Click here to read the full story:




Caffrey, C. L., Willoughby, P. J., Pepe, P. E. & Becker, L. B. 2002. "Public use of automated external defibrillators". The New England Journal of Medicine, 347, 1242-1247.

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Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. S.d. "Cardiac arrest".

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Fradin, Jordan. 2021. "Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA)".

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Guay, Jonathan. 2017. "He saves a man five days after his resuscitation course". Journal de Montréal.

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Monteleone, Peter P., Borek, Heather A. & Althoff, Seth O. 2012. "Electrical Therapies in Cardiac Arrest." Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, 30(1), 51-63.

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Weisfeldt, M. L..., Sitlani, C. M. Ornato, J. P., Rea, T. [...] Morrison, L. J. 2010. "Survival after application of automatic external defibrillators before arrival of emergency medical system: Evaluation in the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium population of 21 million." Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 55 (16), 1713-1720.

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Article written in collaboration with Laurie Lévesque, content creator for Académie Saint-Bernard


Émilie Bédard

Communications Manager