- Local community invited to join University of Warwick students at Cannon Park Shopping Centre to raise awareness and build confidence in using CPR on Saturday 16 October
- Event marks #RestartAHeart day
- Early CPR and AED use can double someone’s chances of survival when they experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
Local residents of Coventry and Warwickshire are invited to equip themselves with the skills to save a life thanks to University of Warwick students who are holding a public CPR awareness event to mark #RestartAHeart day on Saturday 16 October.
Students from the Resuscitation for Medical Disciplines (RMD) Warwick and the Warwick First Aid Society, supported by the University’s Community Values Education Programme, are hosting a series of events to help the University community and its neighbours build their skills and confidence in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to assist someone experiencing a cardiac arrest in the community.
A public event will take place at Cannon Park Shopping Centre on Saturday 16 October from 1pm where students will give instruction and demonstrations on how to act in the event of someone experiencing a cardiac arrest, including performing CPR and how to find and use an AED. The students have also been holding events on campus specifically for fellow students and staff at the University, with sessions in the main Piazza and at the Gibbet Hill campus earlier in the month.
The annual Restart A Heart campaign, which is in its eighth year, aims to train people in how to perform CPR, so they feel confident to act in an emergency. The campaign is led by Resuscitation Council UK, in partnership with St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and all UK ambulance services.
In the UK, survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest remain stubbornly low, with fewer than one in ten people surviving. Every minute without CPR and defibrillation of the heart reduces the chance of survival by up to 10%. Early CPR and AED use will at least double someone’s chances of survival, and both of these can be done by a member of the public before the ambulance service arrives.
It includes amended steps for performing CPR brought in by Resuscitation Council UK due to Covid-19, so even those who have learnt CPR before can benefit.
The vital importance of immediate CPR and swift AED use was highlighted very publicly this summer following the collapse of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen at Euro 2020.
Medical student at Warwick Medical School Jade Wilmot said: “During cardiac arrest, every minute saved before resuscitation is vital. That’s why bystander CPR is so important, and why we want to raise awareness of it on #RestartAHeart day. Students at the University of Warwick trained in CPR techniques have been sharing their skills with our University community for some time, so this is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire to come and learn these lifesaving skills with us.”
In 2019, Warwick Medical School received funding to support a scheme for medical students to train their fellow students and the local community in lifesaving CPR techniques.
Dr Christopher Smith of Warwick Medical School said: “Around 1 in 10 people will survive cardiac arrest in the community and get to go home at the end of it. CPR and defibrillation can at least double the chance of survival and, crucially, they can both be done by members of the public.
“Public-access defibrillators are AEDs that are found in many public places. Anyone can use them, even if they have had NO prior training. If you are a charity or organisation that owns an public-access AED you can register it with the national database The Circuit and your local ambulance service. This will maximise the number of people that might be able to benefit from your defibrillator, because the ambulance service can direct people to it during a 999 call.”
A spokesperson for Resuscitation Council UK said: “We’re really grateful that Warwick medical students are getting behind the Restart A Heart campaign and going out and equipping local people with vital lifesaving skills. We encourage everyone who can, to get along to Cannon Park Shopping Centre on Saturday afternoon. You never know, one day you might need to put the skills you learn to use in an emergency to give someone their best chance of life.”