Be a ‘Lockdown Lifesaver’ - Charity releases urgent COVID-19 update

For immediate release

London, UK -  30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests happen each year in the UK - and 80% of these happen in the home. If no immediate action is taken, these people will be dead within minutes. With more people than ever being in a home-based location, the number of at home cardiac arrests could increase - and it’s never been more important to be prepared with the CPR skills needed to give someone their best chance of survival.

Resuscitation Council UK, the UK’s resuscitation experts, have issued updated COVID-19 guidance for those who need to perform CPR in an out of hospital situation. They are urging people to familiarise themselves with these key skills in case they need to help a loved one in need.

This updated guidance advises against performing rescue breaths (commonly called ‘mouth to mouth’) and encourages rescuers to put a piece of material over the mouth and nose to reduce the risk of infection. 

If someone is unconscious and not breathing normally, do not put your face close to theirs. Call for an ambulance, and use a towel or piece of clothing and lay it over the mouth and nose. Do not do mouth to mouth. Start chest compressions to the tempo of “Stayin’ Alive” and use a Public Access Defibrillator if available. 

A short and easy to share video demonstrates these concepts: 

Dr James Cant, CEO of Resuscitation Council UK said “Sudden Cardiac Arrests will continue to happen every day, just as they did before COVID-19. And because most of us are at home, it would almost certainly be a loved one whose life you’d be trying to save. Our new advice allows you to do so, while also keeping you safe.” 

Read more public information on CPR and defibrillation during COVID-19 at

Download a simple sharable infographic with CPR instructions here:

Notes to editor

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and causes a person to collapse and stop breathing. Survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest remain stubbornly low in the UK, with fewer than one in ten people surviving. If CPR were more widely taught, thousands of lives could be saved every year. (Resuscitation to Recovery)

About Resuscitation Council UK

Resuscitation Council UK is saving lives by developing guidelines, influencing policy, delivering courses and supporting cutting-edge research. Through education, training and research, we’re working towards the day when everyone in the country has the skills they need to save a life.

Press Contact: Emily Pulham, Communications Manager, Resuscitation Council UK 07506374945 :

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Public infographic