Beaconsfield High School

Beaconsfield High School

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Record numbers take part in Restart a Heart Day

A total of 140 Year 11 students recently attended training on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as part of a European-wide initiative to encourage more people to learn how to do life-saving CPR (or chest compressions) should they come across someone collapsed, not breathing and potentially in cardiac arrest.

Les Owen, a member of South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), visited the school on Monday 16th October - the official Restart A Heart day - to deliver the British Heart Foundation (BHF) guidelines on CPR.

The session included an introduction to the value of CPR, with statistics around survival rates.

In the UK it is estimated that over 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital and less than 10% survive (but this survival rate is greater in the SCAS region as it says in the PR). Every minute a person is in cardiac arrest reduces their chance of survival by approximately 10%.   

 Students watched a DVD from the BHF, which portrays how to carry out CPR. This includes:

  • The first action is to check that the area is safe to approach the patient  
  • Then Shake & Shout to check for a response and see if the patient is conscious or unconscious
  • Call for help is an important next step to attract some assistance for the the person helping the patient
  • Now check if they are breathing normally - the students were told how to look, listen and feel to assess when breathing is sufficient
  • Call now is to get an Ambulance on the way and if possible to get hold of a Defibrillator from a public access location

Students were then shown how to perform CPR - compressions and breathing. Each student had a chance to practice with the 30 manikins on the floor.

Les Owen comments: "I can say the three trainers - myself, Anneli McCallum for Fire & Rescue and Dave Wenham from Thames Valley Police - were impressed at how the students wanted to get it right and how well they did. They would be a great asset to any patient needing CPR. After the training we then showed the pupils how a Defibrillator works and I think we removed the fear that something could be done wrong as the Public Access Defibrillators give clear verbal commands."

Nic Morecroft, Lead Community Responder Manager at SCAS, said: “We know that one of the big concerns members of the public have about giving first aid and chest compressions to someone who has collapsed and is not breathing is that it might harm the patient. Quite simply, however, it is not possible to make the situation any worse.

“Even if you aren’t an expert in giving chest compressions, it’s been shown from studies that you can at least double if not treble someone’s chances of survival by having a go at giving chest compressions. That’s why SCAS is delighted once again to have be part of Restart a Heart Day, which has trained thousands more people in how to carry out effective CPR and use a defibrillator. Anyone can learn these simple skills which one day, could mean you help save someone’s life.”