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Public encouraged to learn to save a life

15 September 2019

Restart a Heart logoPeople across the South East will take part in a worldwide initiative this week teaching people how to save a life.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is working with schools and community groups on and around the annual Restart a Heart Day today (16 October) led by the Resuscitation Council (UK) in partnership with organisations including the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and St John Ambulance.

SECAmb is encouraging everyone to find out more and sign up to undertake life-saving CPR training. Further details on training are available via the BHF website here:

It is urging everyone to be willing to get involved in providing CPR if they come across an incident as a bystander.

A recent YouGov survey has shown that ‘stranger danger’ and busyness bias were cited as possible reasons for people not helping someone who might have collapsed or stopped breathing in front of them.

Just 66% of people in the South East of England would give CPR to a stranger – compared to 85% who would help a family member and only 3 in 5 (60%) of respondents in the South East are likely to give CPR in a crowded location, compared to 4 in 5 (80%) if they were the only ones around.

This year is the sixth annual Restart a Heart day. SECAmb first took part in the initiative in 2016. Since then, working with local partners including Kent Fire and Rescue Service, in excess of 30,000 children and adults have been received CPR training as part of the initiative.

Every year, more than 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK where the ambulance service attempt resuscitation. If this happens in front of a bystander, who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival significantly increase.

SECAmb Head of Community Engagement David Wells said: “We’re delighted to be participating once again in this extremely worthwhile annual initiative. Learning how to save a life is an essential skill and I’d urge everyone to arrange to be trained. It is a skill people can carry with them throughout their lives. By giving people the confidence to act quickly and start performing CPR, prior to the arrival of ambulance crews, more lives will be saved across our region.”

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