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August 2, 2011
Toronto Emergency Medical Services to research best practices in cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Starting today, Toronto EMS is joining medical researchers across North America in a study to determine the best way to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a victim of cardiac arrest. The Continuous Cardiac Compressions Study will compare traditional CPR - involving 30 chest compressions followed by a pause for two ventilations - and a method consisting of continuous compressions without a pause for ventilation.

“Toronto EMS has a long tradition in pre-hospital medical research,” said EMS Chief Paul Raftis. “We’re proud to participate in studies like this one that help our paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers improve the outcomes for our patients.”

EMS attempts resuscitation on about 1,600 cardiac arrests every year in Toronto. The purpose of this research is to study the method of CPR to see if it can be improved to save more lives.

Toronto residents can also play a role in improving the survival rate of heart attack victims. In ventricular fibrillation arrests - the most common dysrhythmia or disruption to heart rhythm - where citizens witness the collapse and start CPR immediately, about 24 per cent of the heart attack victims survive to hospital discharge. Toronto EMS encourages everyone to take a CPR course.

Information about CPR courses is available from the Toronto EMS Safe City Program at 416-392-9833 and online at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Cindy Nicholson
Deputy Chief, Toronto EMS



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