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Restart a Heart Day highlights need for better CPR knowledge

Monday 16th October 2017
Today marks Restart a Heart Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of knowing how to perform CPR. Image: Pixel_away via iStock
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Restart a Heart Day is taking place today (Monday October 16th) across the UK to raise awareness of how important it is to know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

According to research from the University of Warwick published to coincide with the event, one in five people in Britain will witness someone collapse who needs CPR at some point during their lives.

However, the majority are unable to help save their life as they are unaware of the correct way to perform CPR.

Therefore, training on this is essential and something that cardiologists should make sure they are getting involved with where possible. Indeed, the study found that people were three times more likely to try performing CPR if they had been shown how to previously.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) estimates that people's lack of confidence around CPR results in approximately 10,000 deaths every year, as bystanders simply don't have the knowledge or skills to help save lives.

Figures show that in some parts of the UK, CPR is only performed by a witness in 39 per cent of cases. In comparison, 73 per cent of people who collapse in Norway receive this treatment, as do 69 per cent of those in Australia.

Four in ten of those questioned for a BHF survey admitted that they would not be confident performing CPR, but 89 per cent said they thought it should be taught in schools throughout the country to ensure everyone knows how to carry out CPR from an early age.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, commented: "CPR is the difference between life and death for thousands of people every year in the UK who suffer a cardiac arrest. Every second counts and it simply isn't enough to hope that someone who knows CPR is present.

"We need everyone to learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and give CPR when someone collapses after a cardiac arrest."

Written by Mathew Horton

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