Local MP Jo Swinson learnt a life-saving lesson at this year's Liberal Democrat party conference when she visited the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Hands-only Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) exhibit.
Jo joined other MPs in Brighton to learn more about how Hands-only CPR can mean the difference between life and death when someone is in cardiac arrest. She found out that chest compressions should be delivered "hard and fast" at least 100 times a minute until professional help arrives and the value of calling 999 immediately.
Earlier this year, the BHF became the first organisation in the UK to actively promote Hands-only CPR, with Vinnie Jones starring in a TV advert telling untrained bystanders to give the kiss of life a miss during CPR, instead concentrating on giving chest compressions to the tune of the Bee Gees classic, Stayin' Alive. The training film starring Vinnie Jones has been watched more than two million times online.
Commenting Jo said:
"Cardiac arrests are the ultimate medical emergency but not enough bystanders have the confidence or know-how to do life-saving CPR when someone has collapsed and stopped breathing normally.
"We need more have-a-go heroes on our streets and in our homes, and Hands-only CPR should give everyone the confidence to step in and help. After watching Vinnie's training film at this year's conference, I feel in no doubt that I now have the basic skills to be able to help save a life."
Figures show 10,521 people died from heart disease in Scotland between 2006 and 2008, including 130 people in the East Dunbartonshire area.
Andy Carver, Prevention and Care Advisor for British Heart Foundation Scotland, said:
"The kiss of life can often be daunting for untrained bystanders who want to help when someone is in cardiac arrest. Hands-only CPR should give lots more people, including our country's politicians, the confidence to help."
Chest compressions combined with rescue breaths will continue to be the highest standard of CPR and is taught during formal training, including on the BHF's Heartstart courses.
Learn more about Hands-only CPR, visit bhf.org.uk/handsonly.
- Photo attached: (l to r) Maura Gillespie from the British Heart Foundation, Jo and Annette Brooke MP.
- National & Local Successes/ Cases:
Hands-only CPR means calling 999 and performing chest compressions 5-6cm deep at 100-120 compressions per minute until emergency help arrives and takes over or the person regains consciousness.
A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. A casualty will be unresponsive and won't be breathing normally. Immediate CPR and defibrillation is needed for a casualty to have any chance of survival.
The BHF Heartstart initiative teaches full cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to deal with an unconscious person, serious bleeding, choking and heart attacks. For information visit bhf.org.uk/heartstart.
Hands-only CPR advert YouTube link: http://youtu.be/JR0aZX1_TD8
Hands-only CPR training film YouTube link: http://youtu.be/ILxjxfB4zNk
The British Heart Foundation is the nation's heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease.
For more information visit bhf.org.uk/handsonly