Research reveals lives are put at risk by waiting for ambulances
One in three people can’t use first aid – even if a life depended on it – as research reveals that lives are being put at risk by waiting for ambulances
- Survey revealed lives are being put at risk due to lack of knowledge of first aid
- Researchers asked 4,200 adults what they would do in a medical emergency
- Those taking part were also asked if they knew how to perform resuscitation
- Thirty per cent told researchers that they would not know how to do CPR
- While 96 per cent of people said they would immediately call an ambulance
- But experts say that by the time one arrived, the victim may well have died
A third of Britons say they would not be confident enough to attempt the kiss of life on someone having a cardiac arrest.
A survey revealed how lives are being put at risk because of a lack of knowledge of first aid techniques.
Researchers asked 4,200 adults what they would do in a medical emergency and if they knew how to perform resuscitation.
Thirty per cent said they wouldn’t know how to do CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
A third of Britons say they would not be confident enough to attempt the kiss of life on someone having a cardiac arrest. Stock picture shows a woman performing first aid
And, although 96 per cent said they would immediately call an ambulance, experts say that by the time one arrived, the victim may well have died.
Brain tissue starts to die within three minutes after the heart stops. Paramedics are meant to arrive to the most serious 999 calls within seven minutes but some may take longer than 20 minutes.
A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating and it is far more serious than a heart attack, where the supply of blood to the heart is blocked by a clot.
Previous studies have shown that fewer than one in ten people in Britain survive following a cardiac arrest, partly due to a lack of public knowledge of CPR. In countries where it is taught in schools, such as Norway, as many as a quarter survive.
In January the Government announced plans to add CPR, defibrillator awareness and other lifesaving first aid skills to the national curriculum in secondary schools in England.
And organisations including the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance launched Restart a Heart Day six years ago to raise awareness and train people in CPR.
Simon Gillespie, of the British Heart Foundation, which commissioned the study, said: ‘You may not feel confident performing CPR if you haven’t been trained or don’t remember your training, but without early action the chances someone will survive a cardiac arrest are virtually zero.’
Professor Gavin Perkins, of Warwick University, who led the research, said: ‘The rates of bystander CPR in the UK have for too long lagged behind other European nations, but with campaigns like Restart a Heart Day, we are now thankfully seeing some improvements.’
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