A Toronto medical researcher says heart rate rates have risen worldwide during infections, and paramedics in the Peel region say they see a similar trend playing near home.
Paul Snowpelen, a community project specialist for Peel Regional Paramedical Services, said the number of heart attacks increased by 19 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the previous year.
Katie Allen, who has been researching the issue of sudden cardiac arrest at St Michael’s Hospital, said concerns about catching COVID-19 at the hospital keep patients from suffering without seeking help.
“They stay home for a long time,” he said.
“Most of them are at home with this heart attack. When the paramedics get there, it’s too late.”
If nothing is done to restart a patient’s heart, the survival rate drops by 10 percent per minute in the first 10 minutes, Allen said.
“Now more than ever, I think it’s more important for people to learn how to identify and help in an emergency, but they also know what action they can take.”
Those steps include doing chest contractions.
Rachel Gillis performed the CBR and used a defibrillator at the age of 17 to save a life in an arena in East Climberbury when the goalie collapsed during his father’s hockey game.
“I think honestly, I think everyone should know how to do it.”