Thousands learn how to restart a heart

On Friday 13 October and Monday 16 October, we took part in Restart a Heart Day 2017 – a nationwide initiative to train secondary school students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.


Over 300 volunteers from the trust, fire services, St John Ambulance and other local care providers gave up their own time to deliver the lifesaving lesson, which included a presentation to teach students how to recognise a cardiac arrest, how to perform CPR and how to use a defibrillator, before students tested their new skills on a CPR manikin.


Although anyone can perform CPR, lack of training means that people rarely have the confidence to so. Given that a person in cardiac arrest will die within minutes unless treated immediately with CPR and defibrillator, this makes for worrying statistics in the UK with only one in ten currently surviving a cardiac arrest.


Despite the best efforts of ambulance services and national bodies CPR training is still not part of the national curriculum. In Denmark, the introduction of mandatory training has largely contributed to the fact that people who suffer a cardiac arrest are now three times more likely to survive than ten years ago.


As part of this year’s Restart a Heart Day, a brand new CPR and defibrillator awareness animation film was created.


We also attended some of the English Football League matches during October to show footie fans how it’s done – most notably at Burnley FC and Accrington Stanley. We working with Preston North End goalkeepers to promote the campaign, and our new CPR film was shown at half time at Deepdale and Turf Moor to spread the message even further.