Life-saving training in schools welcomed by Long Ashton group

Checking for breathing before CPR.

Checking for breathing before CPR. - Credit: Sub

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) group in Long Ashton has welcomed the news CPR and basic first aid training will be introduced in schools from next year.

The statistics from the British Heart Foundation about heart attack survival rates.Picture: British

The statistics from the British Heart Foundation about heart attack survival rates.Picture: British Heart Foundation - Credit: British Heart Foundation

Group volunteer and anaesthetist at Southmead Hospital, Sofia Reynolds, hailed the news as ‘fantastic’ and is pleased to know CPR is ‘finally going to be taught to children as part of their school curriculum.’

This follows the Government’s proposals to teach basic life-saving skills in every school, including teaching pupils how to administer CPR, treating common injuries, and about knowing the purpose of defibrillators.

Long Ashton’s group provides a two-hour session at the village community centre, where people can gain a BHF certificate for successfully completing its Heartstart course.

People can learn how to spot the signs of a heart attack, the steps to take when someone is unconscious and to recognise and perform CPR.

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They can also learn about basic first aid training on how to treat a chocking person and how to help those who are bleeding heavily.

Sofia said: “We know in countries which offer CPR courses, the survival rate after cardiac arrest is much better.”

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“The courses in the village run from every four to six weeks, which are designed to help people feel more confident about how to treat someone who is suffering from a cardiac arrest.”

Without immediate treatment, up to 95 per cent of people who suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest will die – and around 30,000 attacks happen at home in the UK every year.

The chances of someone surviving a heart attack drops by 10 per cent for each minute they go without treatment, but if a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed, the chances of living increase from six to 74 per cent.

Sofia continued: “Most of us who volunteer are women and mothers, and the community centre provides the venue for free.”

“Recognition is the first and most crucial line of defence, and the courses teach very basic skills.

“Doing something is always better than nothing.”

The next course is due to start in spring.

For more information, email

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