Secondary pupils to be taught life-saving skills

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Secondary school pupils on Arran are to be given CPR training as part of a nation wide campaign adopted by North Ayrshire Council (NAC) to reduce poor survival rates from cardiac arrests outside of hospital.

Joining the ranks to make up 23 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities who have joined the initiative, NAC has promised to roll out the training to provide pupils in the area with the vital skills that could help save a life.

The nation’s heart charity British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland has welcomed the news and is working with the remaining councils to achieve 100 per cent coverage.

There are around 3,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Scotland each year but the survival rate is just one in 12 and for every minute without CPR, the chances of surviving drop by up to ten per cent.

In countries where CPR is more widely taught, survival rates as high as one in four have been reported. International evidence has shown that in countries like Denmark, which legislated for all secondary pupils to learn CPR, survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests tripled.

Those councils backing the campaign in Scotland have now pledged to work with BHF Scotland to develop a plan to ensure that every secondary pupil receives CPR training at an appropriate age in the curriculum and to work with head teachers and education officials to make it happen.

Councillor John Bell, cabinet member for education and youth employment for North Ayrshire Council, said: ‘We are proud to pledge our support to the British Heart Foundation’s CPR training programme. Statistics show that fewer than one in 12 people who suffer a cardiac arrest out with a hospital setting in the UK will survive.

‘While we hope that they never have to use it, equipping all secondary school pupils with the skills to administer this life-saving procedure could go a long way to improving these figures, as well as giving them the confidence to step in and help should they ever find themselves in an emergency situation.’

To find out more about CPR or to apply for a Call Push Rescue CPR training kit, which is free for eligible secondary schools, visit www.bhf.org.uk/cpr