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Worrying new figures reveal nearly a third of UK adults are not likely to attempt CPR, putting lives at risk

Written by Samantha Lade, Donr

Published on Tuesday, 16th October 2018

Nearly a third of UK adults are not likely to attempt CPR, putting lives at risk

Nearly a third of UK adults (30%) are not likely to perform CPR if they saw someone suffer a cardiac arrest, according to worrying new figures released to mark Restart a Heart Day.

The British Heart Foundation commissioned researchers from the University of Warwick Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcome (OHCAO) Registry team, who worked with YouGov to survey over 4,000 UK adults. Participants were asked asked questions about their knowledge of CPR, and whether they would feel confident in performing it on someone who had had a cardiac arrest.

These figures show that lives are still being put at risk every day because not enough people know how to perform CPR.

Restart a Heart Day is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of CPR, which will see over 200,000 people trained in life saving CPR across the UK. 

The BHF run the campaign in partnership with the Resuscitation Council (UK), St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and ambulance trusts and fire and rescue services across the country.

This year for the first time, the day will be marked globally, as training and awareness events take place for World Restart a Heart Day.

The UK campaign, which is now in its 5th year, was launched after figures revealed that less than 1 in 10 people in Britain survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest, due to low bystander CPR rates.

In countries where CPR is taught in schools, as many as 1 in 4 survive.

Damian Hinds, Education Secretary, said: 'Knowing how to save someone's life is one of the most powerful skills you can learn. That's why we plan to teach first aid as part of health education, which we intent to make compulsory in all state funded schools from 2020.'

Early CPR can more than double a person's chances of survival, and can buy the time needed before paramedics arrive and provide care – which can mean the difference between life and death.

Commenting on public confidence in CPR, BHF Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said: 'You may not feel confident performing CPR if you haven't been trained or don't remember your training; but without your early action the chances someone will survive a cardiac arrest are virtually zero.

'The BHF is striving to improve survival rates by creating a Nation of Lifesavers through our CPR training programmes. 

'By raising awareness on Restart a Heart Day, we hope more people will see that CPR really can be the difference between life and death and that doing something is always better than doing nothing.'

For more information about CPR and Restart a Heart Day click here.