Ambulance Service welcomes news that school children are to be taught CPR

Friday, 4th January 2019

West Midlands Ambulance Service says thousands of lives could be saved in years to come with news that 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.  Sadly, only about 7% of those people will survive!  It’s a shocking figure, especially when in some countries like Denmark, the figure is around 25%.

The Government has announced that 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% – meaning that the time before an ambulance arrives is crucial

“I can speak from personal experience – saving a life is the most incredible feeling; knowing that 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.”

To learn how to perform CPR, follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Shake and shout
  • Step 2: Check for normal breathing
  • Step 3: Call 999
  • Step 4: Give 30 chest compressions
  • Step 5: Give two rescue breaths
  • Step 6: Repeat until an ambulance arrives

Remember – even if you haven’t been trained in CPR with rescue breathing, you can still use hands-only CPR.

Giving rescue breaths helps survival, but if you don’t want to give rescue breaths, Hands-only CPR is still likely to increase a person’s chance of survival.

Never do nothing.

How to do Hands-only CPR

  1. Check the person over. If they are not responsive and not breathing, then their heart has stopped working and they are having a cardiac arrest.
  2. Now, call 999. Then you do Hands-only CPR.
  3. Lock your fingers together, knuckles up. Then push down, right on the sovereign. Push down five or six centimetres. That’s about two inches. Push hard and fast about two times a second, like to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. Don’t worry about hurting someone. A cracked rib can be mended – just concentrate on saving a life.
  4. Keep this up until the ambulance arrives.

So don’t forget. Check them over. Call 999. Push hard and fast to Stayin’ Alive. It works.