Health, Latest News | Posted: Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 1:07 pm | return to news

Virtual Restart a Heart Day 2020 to teach safe CPR skills

People are being given the opportunity to learn how to save lives safely during the coronavirus pandemic through virtual training sessions.

Carl Botham and granddaughter Grace
Carl Botham and granddaughter Grace

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), in association with the Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) and other partner agencies are taking Restart a Heart Day (RSAH) 2020 online on Friday 16 October. The sessions will include training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using a defibrillator.

COVID-19 has reduced people’s willingness to perform CPR, according to RCUK, and, with social distancing in place, opportunities for people to learn how to do it have been limited.

RSAH 2020 sessions will teach safe, effective CPR skills to give people the confidence to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.

SWASFT patient engagement manager, Sharifa Hashem, said, “We know that CPR saves lives, and the more people learn CPR, the more lives we can save together.

“Instead of doing face-to-face events this year, we’ll be running a series of Facebook live events to teach people how and when to carry out CPR safely, how to use defibrillators, and to answer any questions they may have.

“Fewer than one in 10 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest. But we know that calling 999, performing hands-only CPR, and using a defibrillator can make a significant difference to someone’s chance of survival.

“During COVID-19, many people have continued to perform CPR, which demonstrates the community spirit in the South West.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to join us at these sessions – whether they are at school, work or home. The more of us who know what to do, the more lives we can potentially save.”

Carl Botham, 54, is encouraging people to learn CPR, after his heart stopped while staying at a hotel in April 2019.

Staff called 999 and began resuscitation, before paramedics arrived to continue CPR and shock him with a defibrillator. On arrival at hospital, he was put on a life support machine and went on to make an incredible recovery.

Carl said, “I’m so pleased the people there were able to do CPR so quickly and so very well.

“Four months after my sudden cardiac arrest, I had the most amazing day giving my daughter away at her wedding. It was the proudest day of my life, and a day I wouldn’t have had without the CPR. Now I am a very proud and lucky granddad to a little girl called Grace.

“I would ask everyone to learn this life skill, because you never know if and when you might need to help save someone’s life. I will always be thankful to Chris and Andy who saved mine!”

Sign up to attend SWASFT’S RSAH Day on Facebook Live, by clicking here:

Each training session will last 30 minutes, and will take place at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 7pm.

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