DUP MLA Gary Middleton, is joining British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign and urging local secondary schools in Londonderry to teach lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.
“I would urge all local schools to get involved in the BHF Lifesavers campaign,” he said.
“Having spoken to several heart attack survivors, had it not been for the quick response of passers-by, they would not be alive today. It is encouraging that so many schools have already signed up for the training programme. This training may one day save a life.”
BHF Northern Ireland launched Nation of Lifesavers in October 2014 and is encouraging all secondary schools to sign-up to BHF Northern Ireland’s innovative FREE CPR training programme which enables schools to become completely self-sufficient in teaching the steps that could save a life.
Currently in the UK, less than one (8.6 per cent) in ten people survive a cardiac arrest. If we achieved the same survival rates of countries like Norway (25 per cent), where CPR is taught in schools, an additional 100 lives could be saved each week – the equivalent of approximately 5,000 every year.
A recent BHF Northern Ireland poll showed that 88 per cent of local people believe that all children should leave secondary school with CPR skills yet only 31 per cent say they would feel confident performing CPR on a loved one.
Simon Gillespie, BHF chief executive, said: “Since we launched Nation of Lifesavers, Northern Ireland secondary schools have been incredibly supportive of our campaign.
“With 139 local schools are already supported by BHF Northern Ireland to teach their pupils vital CPR skills and we believe the country is firmly in the running to be the first to create a generation of lifesavers.
“Ultimately this could mean that more lives are saved across Northern Ireland so we’re urging all remaining secondary schools in Northern Ireland to join the movement and help us to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.”
Contrary to public perception 80 per cent of all out of hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home - often in front of families and loved ones. BHF Northern Ireland wants to address public perception that most cardiac arrests happen in public places and hope this worrying statistic will prompt local secondary schools to take action.
To help BHF Northern Ireland create a Nation of Lifesavers visit bhf.org.uk/lifesavers