Message from the Chair

Jeremy LevettAs our world grapples with the unprecedented circumstances of the novel coronavirus pandemic, millions of individuals continue to die from cardiovascular disease. Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in Canada and around the world, with the large majority of cases occurring in homes or public places. Up to 55% are witnessed by a family member, colleague or friend. Yet, the survival to hospital discharge rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims remains dismally low at less than 10%. Responding to a cardiac arrest with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can triple the odds of survival. If defibrillated within the first five minutes of collapse, chances of survival are greater than 50%. Inspiring the willingness to act and enhancing the skills of individuals in responding to cardiac arrests is a crucial public health investment, and perhaps the most impactful approach to reducing the morbidity and mortality of cardiac arrests.

Over the past months, students from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) have coordinated the McGill University World Restart a Heart (WRAH) 2021 Campaign as part of a global initiative that aims to empower individuals to respond to a cardiac arrest. Our Student Committee produced a fascinating digital campaign, inspired by the extraordinary challenges we face. They designed all aspects of an influential social media strategy, recruited ambassadors, coordinated live virtual events, created an impactful video series, built a bystander resuscitation eModule, designed a patient education guide, and initiated governmental advocacy efforts, with tremendous diligence, passion and perfection.

Our Steering Committee, comprised of McGill University leadership, intensive and emergency care physicians, a cardiac arrest survivor, and members of the communications team from the FMHS, Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning, and the McGill University Health Centre, has provided invaluable expertise, support and credibility to these efforts. Our Steering Committee also includes management from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Jacques de Champlain Foundation.

The alliance of our forward-thinking team during these unparalleled times is a testament to the perpetual relevance of fostering a resuscitation-enabled world. Favourable patient outcomes rely on a successfully coordinated “chain of survival”, to which bystander-focused public health interventions is the rate-limiting factor. The McGill WRAH 2021 Campaign is making unbelievable strides in preventing fatal outcomes from devastating families in our very own community, and around the world.

We invite you to explore our website to discover the Campaign and its impactful videos and live events, and to follow #McGillWRAH on our social media platforms.

Welcome to the McGill World Restart a Heart 2021 Campaign.

Jeremy Levett
MDCM Candidate | Class of 2023
Chair of the McGill WRAH 2021 Campaign

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