Restart a Heart Day is a designated day of action across Europe with the aim to teach vital lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to as many people as possible. Last year the British Heart Foundation, British Red cross, St John’s Ambulance and all UK ambulance services worked together to train an incredible 150,581 young people in life saving CPR in one day. This year we became part of those figures with each pupil in Year 8 getting the opportunity to be trained by professionals and get hands-on experience of CPR using a dummy. Our local fire service also came along to pass on their expertise.
It is different from a heart attack where there is an interruption to the blood supply of the heart and the person is conscious and breathing. Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will suddenly lose consciousness and will stop breathing normally.
A person in cardiac arrest will die within minutes unless they are treated immediately with CPR and defibrillation. The CPR keeps oxygen circulating around the body to prevent damage to the brain and other organs, while a defibrillator gives an electric shock to the heart in an attempt to restore its normal rhythm.
Survival rates for people who have cardiac arrests are dismal with less than one in ten people (8.6%) going on to make a recovery in the UK.
Despite the best efforts of ambulance services and national bodies to lobby the UK government to make CPR training in schools mandatory, it is still not part of the national curriculum. But if CPR skills were taught in schools, survival rates could significantly increase as they have in Scandinavia.” – North West Ambulance Service Website.
Because the day was so successful and well received by our pupils, we have plans to roll out this training to pupils in other year groups in the near future.