Campaign Encourages Uptake Of CPR Training

Northern Ireland's Chief Nursing Officer is calling for members of the public to learn CPR and enable more lives to be saved.

Around 1,500 people suffer cardiac arrests outside hospital each year, with less than 10% of those surviving.

Professor Charlotte McArdle demanded more people are trained in the life-saving practice while speaking at a 'World Restart a Heart' Day event in St Mary's Grammar School, Belfast.

Five schools across NI took part in informal awareness events where school nurses introduced young people to the skills required to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Speaking about how learning the practice could be beneficial in everyday life, Professor McArdle said: "CPR and defibrillation skills are the two immediate interventions needed when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. I think it is important that we educate people of all ages on these skill sets because less than half of bystanders intervene when they see someone collapse."
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CPR is an important link in the chain of survival along with early recognition and calls for help, early defibrillation and post resuscitation care.

Around 3,500 people are admitted to hospital every year in Northern Ireland with a heart attack, and heart disease remains the second main cause of death.

Speaking after the educational event, Patrick Gallagher, Transformation Nurse Lead for the Department of Health said: "Today the boys have been learning what to do in an emergency – they have learned to check for normal breathing, to call 999, do chest compressions and give rescue breaths until an ambulance arrives. These actions may help save a life."

Siobhan Kelly, Principal of St Mary's Grammar School concluded: "This morning my pupils have had the opportunity to increase their confidence and skills in managing an individual who has a cardiac arrest.

"They have been able to practice these essential lifesaving skills in a safe, simulated environment.

"Hopefully they will never have to put them to practice but if they are faced with the situation of someone having a cardiac arrest then we can take assurance from the fact that they will have an understanding of what is required which may help save a life."


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