This year’s national campaign takes place during the month of October 2021. This year, Restart a Heart is going to be different once again due to the ongoing pandemic. We hope that, although we cannot physically attend as many locations as we would like, we will endeavour to engage with even more people to spread the message that CPR can save lives.
Restart a Heart Day is an annual training event that occurs on or around the 16th October. This event usually sees the collaborative effort of hundreds of clinicians, teachers and volunteers working together to train members of the public how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) aka Chest Compressions or Basic Life Support (BLS)
If you were fortunate to take part in previous years you will know how much fun this can be, and this was recognised by the positive feedback that we received from everyone who took part. The campaign brings communities together, raising awareness of cardiac arrest and increasing the number of people trained in the UK. The importance of early CPR has recently been witnessed since the Danish footballer Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during the European Championships.
The project is now in its 6th year. In 2019 West Midlands Ambulance Service managed to train over 67,000 children in one day across the region however 2020 presented some extraordinary circumstances and we took our efforts online.
Cardiac arrest can occur at any time and in any place. If you see someone collapse and is not breathing, you need to act fast so they can have the best chance of survival. The most important actions you can take to attempt to save a life are early recognition of cardiac arrest, calling for an Ambulance, starting CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED). In adults, defibrillation within 3-5 minutes of collapse may produce survival rates as high as 50-70%.
In the UK, fewer than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The average overall survival to hospital discharge from over 30,000 NHS resuscitation attempts in an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) in England is 8.6% (1)
Here at West Midlands Ambulance Service, we want everyone to learn this life-saving skill so you will know what to do if someone collapses with a sudden cardiac arrest. By watching this video, you could save a life. We hope that you can share this message with children, colleagues, family, and friends.
How to do CPR:
- When someone has a cardiac arrest, they collapse and become unresponsive. They either stop breathing entirely, or they might take gasping or infrequent breaths.
- If you see someone unconscious or breathing abnormally, ring 999 immediately. You will speak to an Ambulance call handler, who will help you confirm if the person is in cardiac arrest and guide you through doing CPR.
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) describes the process of compressing the chest to squeeze the heart and pump blood around the body:
- First you must place one hand on top of the other on the centre of the chest and push hard and fast on the chest to help pump blood around the person’s body. You should keep a steady rhythm of about 120 compressions every minute.
When it comes to CPR, the important thing is to give it a go, remember anything you do could contribute to the patients survival, even if you haven’t done it before, doing something is better than nothing at all. By doing CPR in an emergency, you are giving someone a chance of survival that they wouldn’t have had without you.
The benefits of improving bystander Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) rates are evidenced around the world where the highest bystander CPR rates are directly linked to the highest survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest. Over 68,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year. If this happens in front of a bystander who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival doubles. You can find some additional information here .
We want to assure you that we are here to support you and would like to hear from you when things return to “normal”. In the meantime, please stay safe and please share your experiences with us via @OfficialWMAS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.