Lack of CPR awareness putting lives at risk in the East Midlands, British Heart Foundation warns

In 2012, Vinnie Jones supported a BHF campaign to raise awareness of how to do CPR.
In 2012, Vinnie Jones supported a BHF campaign to raise awareness of how to do CPR.

Lives are being put at risk in the East Midlands by a shortage of CPR skills and awareness, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is warning.

A survey carried out by the charity has found that only 37 per cent of people in the region would be confident performing immediate CPR if someone collapsed in front of them.

In addition, 57 per cent of those surveyed said they would be worried about knowing what to do if someone collapsed from a cardiac arrest in front of them, while 56 per cent said they would worry about making things worse by trying to help.

Now the BHF is calling on residents to learn CPR and help save lives.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “It is worrying that so few people in the East Midlands would feel confident to perform CPR if someone collapsed with a cardiac arrest in front of them.

“When someone has a cardiac arrest, every second counts, and immediate CPR can double their chance of survival in some cases.

“Thousands of people still lack these skills and we know that many more lives in the East Midlands could be saved if more people felt confident and able to intervene. We need as many people as possible to learn CPR and become a potential life saver.”

People who witness a cardiac arrest perform CPR in only four of ten cases across England, research by the charity found. This compares with much higher bystander intervention rates of more than seven in ten in Norway.

Today (Friday), the charity is launching its Mission CPR campaign, which will see thousands of schoolchildren learn CPR.

‘Mission CPR’ is part of the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign which aims to equip all young people and adults with the CPR skills to save a life. Since its launch one year ago, more than 1,300 schools across the UK have been given free CPR training kits by the BHF to teach young people how to save a life.

To find out more about learning CPR, see www.bhf.org.uk.