I am urging secondary schools and community groups in Oldham and Saddleworth to join the campaign to dramatically increase the number of people trained in life-saving CPR and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.
More than 30,000 people suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK every year – 80% of which occur in the home, often in front of family members and loved ones.
But fewer than one in ten people survive, partly because not enough people have the skills and confidence to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The British Heart Foundation says that the Nation of Lifesavers initiative could save around 5,000 additional lives a year in the UK, based on survival rates in countries like Norway (25%)4 where CPR training is mandatory in schools. The BHF is calling for CPR and public access defibrillator (PAD) awareness to be taught in all secondary schools and a recent survey showed 82%5 of people would be behind this move.
Since the launch of the campaign on October 16, more than 5,000 people have already signed the petition to make these skills part of the curriculum.
Cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK fall way behind survival rates in other countries where CPR training is part of the curriculum. By joining the Nation of Lifesavers I want to see every child in the UK finish school equipped with the necessary skills to respond in a medical emergency. CPR is an important skill and just 30 minutes of training could save someone’s life.
My gratitude goes out to Samantha Hobbs,16, from Yeovil for joining the launch of the BHF’s campaign. Two years ago Samantha helped to save her mum’s life by performing CPR. With her dad, they kept her mum alive until the emergency services arrived and could get her heart beating again with a single electric shock from a defibrillator.
Samantha had been trained in CPR so she knew what to do. Now she’s campaigning to raise awareness amongst others so that more people are trained and more lives can be saved.