NEAS Operations Manager Gareth Campbell with Churchill Community College pupils

Beating hearts campaign restarts

North East schools invited to sign up to Restart a Heart

A campaign to equip North East school children with the skills and confidence to save lives launches today (Thursday, 2 March).

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is launching the Restart a Heart campaign to provide free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to pupils at secondary schools across the North East on 16 October 2017.

Following huge success during last year’s Restart a Heart campaign,  NEAS is encouraging schools to register before 31 March to take part. Register online at /get-involved/restart-a-heart.aspx

The British Heart Foundation Restart a Heart campaign teaches lifesaving skills to secondary school age children, giving the next generation the skills and confidence to save a life and increasing cardiac arrest survival rates across the UK.

In conjunction with the Resuscitation Council (UK), the British Heart Foundation (BHF) provides the training equipment and North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust coordinates and delivers the training with the support of volunteers.

NEAS Operations Manager Gareth Campbell said: “Our call handlers supported at least 2,200 people ringing 999 last year to do CPR over the telephone in the critical minutes when an ambulance was travelling.  Our crews alone go to around 3,000 patients each year where the patient needs CPR. 

“As a paramedic or emergency care worker, there can be nothing worse than arriving at a cardiac arrest to find that no one is doing CPR, meaning that they are already on the back foot.  Even with good CPR, defibrillation, drug therapy and treatment it can sometimes be unlikely to get a return of circulation, but the more time without a patient is waiting for help, the more likely the brain will have been starved of oxygen and the chance of surviving to discharge are extremely low.”

In 2015/16 the service answered 1.160 million emergency 999 and NHS 111 calls, responded to 295,855 incidents that resulted in a patient being taken to hospital, treated and discharged 19,949 patients with telephone advice and treated and discharged 85,021 patients at home.  In the same year, emergency care crews reached 132,948 incidents within the national target of 8 minutes.

Gareth added: “We are encouraging school s to register to take part as this skill is something that people can use for their rest of their lives and maybe one day to save a life.  Teaching the next generation the skills will hopefully give them the confidence to help if there’s ever an occasion when they need to – it’s a skill you never really forget and the more people who have it, the greater the chance that patients in cardiac arrest can recover.”

Last year NEAS helped to train over 1,000 young people, including 205 students at Churchhill Community College - one of the first schools to sign up to this year's campaign. 

Head teacher David Baldwin said: “It’s so important for us to make sure our young people are in a position where, if they come across a situation where CPR is needed, they realise they can do something to help.

“I would urge other schools to sign up right now. Consider all your staff and children, any one of those could find themselves in this situation and we need to make sure we can help anyone in need.”

Student Jacob Goulding said: “I think it’s important for people our age to be encouraged to learn CPR in case we need to do it one day”

Fellow student Ryan Brown added: “A lot of people don’t know how to do CPR so it’s good to have that experience and confidence to help someone when they need it most”

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