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A third of Britons would not attempt CPR

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
Nearly a third of Britons would not attempt to perform CPR on someone who collapsed in the street with a cardiac arrest.
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A third of Britons would not attempt to carry out CPR on someone they saw having a cardiac arrest, a survey by the University of Warwick Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcome Registry team and YouGov has found.

The poll of 4,000 adults across the UK examined the knowledge - or lack of it - people have about CPR and how comfortable people would feel in performing it on someone who had suffered a cardiac arrest. 

It established that 30 per cent of people are unlikely to attempt to perform CPR on a person they had seen collapse.

The survey was carried out for Restart a Heart Day, which took place earlier this month. The day is designed to help raise awareness of CPR and the vital role it can play in saving lives. 

It is run jointly by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and a coalition of medical bodies including the Resuscitation Council (UK), St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. This year saw it become a global event for the first time.

The campaign is now in its fifth year and was launched after it was discovered only one in ten people survive a cardiac arrest outside a hospital. 

While 96 per cent of people would call an ambulance if they saw someone collapse, the crucial few minutes between the collapse and the arrival of paramedics can make the difference between life and death, as brain tissue starts to die after three minutes without oxygen.

However, the BHF has noted, survival rates are as high as one in four in countries where CPR is taught in schools and the government has recently announced plans to add awareness of CPR and defibrillators to the national curriculum. 

Education secretary Damian Hinds remarked: "Knowing how to save someone's life is one of the most powerful skills you can learn. 

"That's why we plan to teach first aid ‎as part of health education, which we intend to make compulsory in all state funded schools from 2020. I look forward to working with experts, including ‎the British Heart Foundation, as we compile teacher materials for health education‎." 

Written by Matthew Horton

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