Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness

Learn how you can help save lives with hands-only CPR and AEDs

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month


We want everyone to know what to do if they encounter someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Visit our Instagram and/or Facebook and follow the instructions on the contest post. You will be entered to win 1 of 2 Libin prize baskets containing: 

~ A NutriBullet Pro 1000 Nutrient Extractor blender kit
~ 4 Recreational Skate Passes for the Olympic Oval
~ A Libin Wellness package full of healthy snacks and self-care items

Contest ends Friday, October 29, 2021 at 5PM (MST)


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Thank you to our contest sponsor:

Did you know the Olympic Oval was built for the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games? But it's more than just a Speed Skating venue — everyone can enjoy indoor public skating and running, ice-out events, competitions, major sporting events, and so much more.

Visit to learn more

What is sudden cardiac arrest?


Sudden cardiac arrest is the sudden stopping of heart function, breathing and consciousness. It appears suddenly and often without warning when the heart unexpectedly stops beating. This is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). When the heart stops beating, it is unable to pump blood to the brain and other organs. About 35,000 Canadians experience sudden cardiac arrest each year, and only an estimated 10 per cent survive. It’s critical that those in sudden cardiac arrest get the right help, right away.

Know the signs

Sometimes people will experience chest pain or discomfort, rapid or irregular heartbeats, wheezing, shortness of breath, light-headedness, fainting or near fainting and nausea or vomiting. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 right away!

Often there is no warning for sudden cardiac arrest, so if you are with someone who collapses suddenly, stops breathing, and loses consciousness, call 911. If the person isn’t breathing, or is making gasping noises, begin hands-only CPR. (see below for more details). 

Hands-Only CPR

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute adopted the Compression Only Resuscitation for Everyone (CORE) project in 2020 to teach Hands-Only CPR. Libin Clinical Engagement Specialist, Heather Agren, RN, BN was inspired to develop this education program after her friend lost her father, Ken, to sudden cardiac arrest.

Although Ken was surrounded by people, CPR was not initiated. The devastating incident inspired Heather to make it her mission to teach as many people as possible the critical skill of Hands-Only CPR. 

How to administer Hands-Only CPR

Hands-Only CPR is a set of short and simple steps that can be done by anyone - even children. If you want to learn how to do this simple technique, view the a kid-friendly Hands-Only CPR video (featuring Heather and her girls. Doing so will help you and your child feel empowered if this life-threatening emergency occurs in your home, where 80 per cent of these incidences occur. 

Use a Portable Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if it’s available. The machine will give you step-by-step instructions, turn it on and listen. If the machine advises you to give shock, do so, then immediately resume CPR. The machine will tell you what to do next, in about two minutes.

The AED will ask you to stop compressions as it analyses the person’s heart rhythm.  The machine will then guide you to give another shock or, tell you a shock is not advised and to resume CPR. Repeat this cycle (defibrillator, compressions) until help arrives, you are no longer safe to do so, or the person gains consciousness. Learn more about how to use an AED by watching the short video, provided by the Heart & Stroke Foundation, below.

Where can I find an AED?

AEDs are available in many public places around Calgary, such as at the airport, in libraries, recreation centres and at shopping malls. AED locations are identified by a picture of a heart with a lightening bolt through it. An AED location map is available here.

Where can I learn more?

To learn more about Hands-Only CPR and AED instruction, contact Heather Agren at

Teach your children hands-only CPR with this easy-to-follow video and be a Libin Heart Hero

Learn CPR in less than 90 seconds

Heart & Stroke

Learn how to use an AED with this easy-to-follow video.

Heart & Stroke

AED symbol

Where can I find an AED?

Portable Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are available in many public places around Calgary, such as at the airport, in libraries, recreation centres and at shopping malls. AED locations are identified by a picture of a heart with a lightening bolt through it.  An AED location map is available here.

Find an AED

Become a Libin Heart Hero

By practicing along with the video, you have become a Libin Heart Hero! To celebrate your success with your kids, please download and print this certificate



Libin Heart Hero

Meet our Libin Heart Hero. He is brave and strong because he knows what to do in case of a cardiac emergency! Download this poster after watching our video as a reminder of the steps you should take in case of a cardiac emergency.

Download this poster