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Leading U.K. agencies to train 100,000 people in CPR on Restart a Heart Day

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Administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation on someone experiencing cardiac arrest before emergency services arrive can literally help save that person's life. But new research from the British Heart Foundation has found that not enough people know how to carry out the procedure.

As a result, a number of agencies are teaming up to teach CPR in schools and community groups across the United Kingdom to more than 100,000 people. The move will coincide with Restart a Heart Day and is part of the collaboration between the Resuscitation Council (UK), BHF, St. John Ambulance, British Red Cross, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), and the U.K. NHS ambulance services and fire and rescue services.

The study, published in the journal Resuscitation, looked at more than 11,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests attended by the emergency services and found that 13% of patients could not be saved because they did not receive CPR.

"The community response to cardiac arrest is a critical step in the chain of survival. Performing immediate CPR when someone suffers a cardiac arrest can in some cases double the chance of survival," says Professor Gavin Perkins, from the University of Warwick who led the study.

Jason Carlyon, resuscitation manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, adds that the study's findings reinforce the need for community CPR initiatives. "By going into schools to teach CPR," he says, "we can give people the skills and confidence to save a life from an early age."

Thanks to the Yorkshire Ambulance Service's partnership with the BHF and other agencies, it has provided CPR training to 31,000 children at 137 schools on Restart a Heart Day in the last two years. "Another 20,000 youngsters are due to learn in Yorkshire alone today. We are incredibly proud of the fact that that our concept for Restart a Heart Day is this year being rolled out across ambulance trusts nationally — even as far as Australia — ensuring that thousands more youngsters learn this vital skill," Carlyon says.

The BHF supplies free Call Push Rescue training kits to secondary schools and community groups across the United Kingdom to help people learn CPR. Click here for more information.

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