Teach primary school students CPR and other life-saving skills from the age of nine to address low survival rates of cardiac arrest, top physicians say
- 30,000 people have cardiac arrest every year, fewer than one in seven survives
- Doctors want young people to be taught skills to increase current chances of survival
- Experts say that lack of knowledge means that paramedics often arrive late to help
Leading physicians ask children from the age of nine CPR and other life-saving skills in primary schools.
Every year around 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrest and fewer than one in seven survives.
The doctors are leading and believe that the introduction of life-saving basic skills at an early age will make it look & # 39; the most natural in the world & # 39; and improve the chances of survival.
The doctors are leading and believe that introducing life-saving skills at a young age "seems to make it the most natural thing in the world" and will improve survival chances
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.
If the heart does not continue to resuscitate and is then restarted, the patient may die within a few minutes – making it far more severe than a heart attack that occurs when there is a blockage in an artery.
Experts believe that a very important reason for poor chances of survival is that very few people know how to resuscitate someone if they have a cardiac arrest, which means that when paramedics arrive it is often too late.
Dr. Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor, consultant anesthesiologist at Guys and St Thomas & NHS Foundation Trust in London, said the UK's low survival rates and lack of first aid training compared to our European neighbors & # 39; shameful & # 39;
She added: "We are just neighbors of these people.
"Why is it that the Norwegians have a chance of survival of one in four, while ours is around seven? This is because they have been giving CPR at schools since 1961.
"The numbers will only change if this becomes more than once.
How YOU can use CPR to restart someone's heart
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be used to try to restart someone's heart when it is stopped.
Resuscitation may only be used in an emergency situation if someone is unconscious and is not breathing.
People without CPR training should adhere to hand-only chest compressions, the NHS says.
To perform a chest compression:
Place the heel of your hand on the sternum in the middle of the person's chest. Place your other hand on your first hand and grab your fingers together.
Place yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
Use your body weight (not just your arms) and press 5-6 cm (2-2.5 inches) straight down on their chest.
Hold your hands on their chest, release the compression, and return the chest to its original position.
Repeat these compressions at a speed of 100 to 120 times per minute until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.
"We have their attention at school, they are the right age and we can make this the most natural thing in the world if we build it into the school system. Yes, it will take a while, but on the other hand we have a whole community of children who grew up with these skills and who know what to do.
"We need a critical mass of people in the community with these skills to turn our numbers around." The government announced in January that, from September 2020, all children should be trained against CPR, leaving high school at the age of 16 – but doctors believe it should be introduced into the school system much earlier.
Dr. Ezihe-Ejiofor runs a voluntary program to teach children to resuscitate, but she believes this should become routine.
Last week, she and 20 other medical volunteers led a training morning in South London for the annual Restart a Heart day.
More than 70 primary school children between nine and ten years old were invited to Ivydale Primary School in Lambeth.
Divided into groups of about a dozen students and four instructors, they were taught how to react when someone collapses using mannequins and the acronym "DRS ABC" (Danger, reaction, yelling, airways, breathing, CPR).
Deputy Director Judith Lambert said: "Hopefully they will remember the foundations. If you learn it at an early age, you can keep that skill for life with you.
"As an adult it becomes much harder to remember when you learn something, but if it becomes part of their understanding now, they can use it at any time." Shakira Kamara, 9, from Loughborough Elementary School in Lambeth, added, "It's important to learn about things like this, because if something bad happened, we would be prepared.
"I would feel more confident now because we have practiced and seen what we should do." James Cant, director of the CPR UK said: "CPR saves lives. We encourage young people to learn CPR and have the confidence to use it in emergencies, because it is really a skill for life. "A Ministry of Education spokesperson said," It is important that all children are taught basic skills that can save lives, so first aid is a mandatory part of health education from 2020.
"All primary education students receive information on how to contact emergency services and first aid – and if schools think it is necessary, they can perform CPR."
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