AMBULANCE chiefs have claimed thousands of lives could be saved in years to come with news all secondary school children are to be taught CPR and basic first aid skills.
Each year, West Midlands Ambulance Service attends about 4,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests. Only about seven per cent of those people will survive. It’s a shocking figure, especially when in some countries like Denmark, the figure is around 25 per cent.
The Government has announced it is planning to make health education compulsory in all state-funded schools.
Under the proposed new guidance, by the end of secondary school pupils will be taught how to administer CPR, the purpose of defibrillators and basic treatments for common injuries.
WMAS community response manager Cliff Medlicott said: “There is no doubt that coming across a cardiac arrest is scary. It’s different to a heart attack. In a cardiac arrest, the patient will be unconscious and their heart won’t be beating – they are clinically dead – unless someone is prepared to do something.
“Giving CPR buys the patient time, so the ambulance service can get there. You can’t hurt the person; doing something can only help.
“For every minute without life-saving treatment the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops by about 10 per cent – meaning he time before an ambulance arrives is crucial.
“I can speak from personal experience – saving a life is the most incredible feeling; knowing your actions mean someone will get to spend time with their loved ones when they wouldn’t otherwise have had that chance.
“A cardiac can strike anyone at any time: it could be a loved one, a friend, a complete stranger. If you know what to do, you could help save their life.
“Why would you not want to learn how to do CPR? It doesn’t take long to learn and there are courses all over the place.”