Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) has joined together with British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland in calling for Midlothian and East Lothian Councils to deliver CPR training to all secondary pupils.
It comes as BHF Scotland suggests that as many as three times as many lives could be saved from cardiac arrests if all school pupils are given the skills and confidence to step in when a cardiac arrest occurs.
BHF Scotland have pledged to provide every eligible local authority school in Scotland with a free Call Push Rescue CPR training kit, which allows a class of pupils to receive training in this life saving skill. The kits are led by an instructional DVD which allows training to be completed in as little as 30 minutes, and because of the instructional and learning-centred nature of the kits, no prior training is required for teaching staff.
Colin Beattie MSP said: “Heart attacks can happen at any time, in any place, and to anyone. That is why I give my strongest support to this campaign.
“The more young people are aware of what do when a cardiac arrest occurs outside of hospital, the more lives can be saved. Every pupil who receives CPR training will keep this with them for the rest of their lives.
“I endorse the BHF Scotland campaign and I hope the Council will take this forward as a matter of urgency.”
Daniel Jones, policy and public affairs officer, BHF Scotland said: “Scotland sadly lags behind the rest of the UK when it comes to our survival rate from Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCAs), with only one person statistically surviving for every twelve who have an OHCA. That’s a lot of lives being lost to OHCAs, and BHF Scotland knows that our survival rate in Scotland can and should be better.
“Places such as Denmark, Norway and Seattle in the United States all teach their secondary school pupils CPR on a compulsory basis, and after introducing this training for pupils, Denmark saw its survival rate triple – now, one in four people can expect to survive an OHCA there.
“Thanks to their programmes of CPR education for pupils, once in four people also survive in Norway, and Seattle’s survival rate stands at one in five.
“Teaching all school pupils CPR in Scotland is therefore the best way of giving everyone the greatest chance of surviving an OHCA, and we are delighted that Colin Beattie MSP has joined our call for Midlothian and East Lothian councils to deliver this training to pupils.”
The BHF’s ‘Call Push Rescue’ CPR training kit is free for eligible secondary schools across the UK. To find out more about CPR, or how to apply for a kit, visit: bhf.org.uk/cpr