Resuscitation Council UK encourages the Jewish community to learn lifesaving CPR skills this Mitzvah Day

For immediate release 

As Jewish people consider how they will make a difference to their community this Mitzvah Day, Resuscitation Council UK is encouraging everyone to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills, so they will know how to save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

People are spending more time than ever at home due to COVID-19. With around 80% of sudden cardiac arrests taking place in the home [1], and a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest reducing by up to 10% for every minute without resuscitation and defibrillation [2], it’s crucial that people know how to do CPR and have the confidence to act immediately if they see someone collapse and stop breathing normally. The skills you learn could be used to potentially save the life of someone close to you, a friend, colleague or stranger. 

Resuscitation Council UK is keen that all members of the Jewish community use Mitzvah Day to learn how to perform CPR safely during the pandemic and to give somebody having a cardiac arrest their best chance of survival.

Guidance issued early in the pandemic by Resuscitation Council UK sets out how to perform CPR safely, without negatively impacting the collapsed person’s chances of survival.

The key changes are loosely laying a face covering, such as a mask, cloth, towel or item of clothing, over the mouth and nose of the person who has collapsed and to do hands-only chest compression resuscitation (no mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths). 

Here are the steps you should take if you witness a cardiac arrest during COVID-19 [3]:

  1. If you see someone who has collapsed and is not breathing or not breathing normally, do not put your face next to theirs when checking for breathing. Instead, check for signs of breathing by looking to see if their chest is moving.
  2. Shout for help and call 999.
  3. Lay a face covering, such as a mask, a cloth, towel or piece of clothing loosely over the mouth and nose of the person who has collapsed (i.e. do not seal the mouth and nose)
  4. Do not do mouth to mouth rescue breaths
  5. Start chest compressions by pressing hard in the centre of the chest twice a second – you can keep time by following the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive’ or ‘Baby Shark’.
  6. Use a public access defibrillator if one is available.  

Dr David Zideman, Consultant in Anaesthesia & Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine, and Patron of Resuscitation Council UK, said:

“My message to everyone this Mitzvah Day is to take this great opportunity to learn how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and to use a Public Access Defibrillator.  In this way you may perform the ultimate Mitzvah of saving someone’s life.”

There are several ways to learn how to do CPR this Mitzvah Day:

  • Resuscitation Council UK is running a free training session via Zoom with the Jewish charity ‘The Together Plan’, and its ‘Youth for Youth’ social action youth programme. The CPR training session is taking place at 5pm on Sunday 15th November and is open to anyone who wishes to learn CPR. Book your place now at:
  • Resuscitation Council UK’s digital CPR training tool Lifesaver ( is a cutting-edge way to learn lifesaving skills anytime, anywhere. Through action-packed scenarios, you’ll be thrown into the heart of the action as you make the crucial decisions and learn the essential skills to save a life.
  • The charity’s new animation takes you through the simple steps of how to perform CPR during the pandemic: 

For more information about Mitzvah Day visit: 


Notes to editors 

Press office: 020 7391 0730

Andrea Ttofa, Director of Engagement and Influencing, Resuscitation Council UK,  

Chloe Gynne, Communications Officer, Resuscitation Council UK, 

[1] Resuscitation to Recovery
[2] Resuscitation to Recovery
[3] Resuscitation Council UK’s COVID-19 Guidance

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.  

About The Together Plan

The Together Plan empowers communities in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They help communities to see what can be achieved collectively, and work with community members to develop skills and provide the training necessary to realise their vision. 

Youth for Youth is The Together Plan’s social action youth programme, offering young adults, aged 17 to 30, the opportunity to make a difference, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well.