Over a third (36%) of UK adults do not have CPR lifesaving skills to save a life in an emergency, and just under half (43%) would not feel confident performing chest compressions if they were to witness someone having a cardiac arrest.
The latest YouGov survey of over 4,000 adults on attitudes towards the life-saving skill is worrying. Around 80% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, but this survey suggests a high proportion of people would not be able to save a loved one. Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10%.
Resuscitation Council UK, together with St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, UK Ambulance Services and other charitable organisations, are committed to ensuring that everyone has the skills to save a life. They are urging people to take part in the Restart a Heart campaign, to establish confident lifesavers across the UK – currently survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are less than one in ten.
Restart a Heart begins on Sunday 16 October and continues throughout the month. It aims to raise public awareness of cardiac arrests and increase the number of people trained in CPR, so that everyone can be a bystander CPR hero. Numerous events, both in person and online, will take place across the UK in schools, communities and workplaces.
The survey suggests that people who are unemployed are the least likely to have received CPR training. Evidence also shows incidence of cardiac arrest is higher in poorer parts of the country - with a greater proportion of residents from minority and ethnic backgrounds - and survival rates are lower due to lack of training and access to defibrillators.
The survey found that over half (53%) of people who had received any CPR training had received it as part of 'First aid at work' training'.
The organisations warn that the health inequalities associated with cardiac arrests must be addressed - training and access to defibrillators is key to this. Schools and community groups across the UK will be holding education and training initiatives to raise crucial awareness.
Rohit Sagoo, Founder and Director of British Sikh Nurses said: “Coronary heart disease within the South Asian community is up to 50% higher in first-generation South Asians than in the white European population in the UK.
“We need to address this. Healthy eating, exercise, plus vital CPR training within our community will increase survival chances and confidence. It is Important for us to understand that our two hands can save a life - come and join us at Ramgarhia Sikh Temple in Birmingham on 23 October.”
Further findings show that well over half (61%) of respondents wouldn’t feel confident using a defibrillator. Those aged between 18 to 24 are the least confident.
James Cant, Chief Executive at Resuscitation Council UK said:
“A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time, so it is important that as many people as possible are equipped with this life-saving skill. Our new CPR training video, featuring Sex Education Actor, Connor Swindells, Will teach you the steps in two minutes. If you are reluctant or unable to do rescue breaths, hands-only CPR will still give the person the same chance.”
Notes to editor.
• For further information please contact. Stella Hindle@resus.org.uk
• We urge members of the public to get involved in Restart a Heart activities. There will be events happening across the UK. You can find out when and where via your local Ambulance Service.