We help train thousands of people in CPR on Restart a Heart Day

18 October 2016        

Category: Survival and support

Children learning how to do CPR

Thousands of people die every year because people are not carrying out life saving CPR on cardiac arrest victims before emergency services arrive, according to our new research.

The shocking figures, released today on Restart a Heart Day, coincide with the largest ever CPR training event of its kind where more than 100,000 people will be taught CPR in schools and community groups across the whole of the UK. This comes as part of collaboration between us, the Resuscitation Council (UK), St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), and the UK NHS ambulance services and fire & rescue services across the country.

New research from the University of Warwick reveals that it is too late to save one-in-eight cardiac arrest patients as rates of bystander CPR were very low. We estimate that this leads to around 10,000 deaths every year across the UK.

The study, published in the journal 'Resuscitation', looked at more than 11,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests attended by the emergency services and found that in 13 per cent of cases the patient could not be saved as levels of bystander CPR were very low.

Chances of survival for cardiac arrest patients are almost zero if they collapse and receive no bystander CPR until emergency services arrive.

All the partner organisations want to create a Nation of Lifesavers and say that more people need to be educated and trained in life saving CPR to help improve the low cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK. Currently less than one in ten people survive.

Our researcher Professor Gavin Perkins said: “This study shows that thousands of people are dying because it is too late for them to be saved when the emergency services arrive, and this is associated with low bystander intervention.

“The community response to cardiac arrest is a critical step in the chain of survival. Performing immediate CPR when someone suffers a cardiac arrest can in some cases double the chance of survival.”

Less than half of people have been trained how to save a life 

A separate poll of UK adults found that more than half (62%) would be worried about knowing what to do if someone suffered a cardiac arrest in front of them. While 53% of people said they had never received any CPR training. Nearly half (44%) agreed that people in the UK are reluctant to perform CPR because of reserved British attitudes.

Our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie, said: “Shockingly, thousands of lives are being lost every year because people lack the confidence and skills to step in and save a life when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest.

"Survival rates in the UK have remained stubbornly low for far too long and it’s time we improved them. We need as many people as possible to learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and try to save a life when they see someone suffer a cardiac arrest.

“That’s why we are urging secondary schools across the UK to apply for our free training kits and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.”

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