Vital life-saving classes inspired by man's heart scare set to return after pandemic break

An invaluable Sutton Coldfield group, which offers potentially life-saving training, is set to return for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Malcolm Robinson, centre, with cardiologist Dr Derek Connolly and Judy Lewis
Malcolm Robinson, centre, with cardiologist Dr Derek Connolly and Judy Lewis

Malcolm Robinson founded CPR Counts in 2017, teaching free Basic Life Support sessions to members of the public.

The group was born out of his own personal experience, having had his life saved by a passing motorist, Judy Lewis, who happened to be a nurse, when he suffered a heart attack in Birmingham.

Up until the pandemic, his group, CPR Counts, had trained over 900 residents, winning the Sutton Coldfield Community Group of the Year 2019 award.

But their two-hour sessions, which cover heart attacks, cardiac arrests, the unconscious patient, choking and using a defibrillator were put on hold during the pandemic.

Now Malcolm has confirmed the group is set to resume its training to make a difference.

“It’s been a long time but, at last, we’re set to go again,” he said.

“Places will be more limited than before due to Covid restrictions that will still be in place, so early application is very much advised.

“We’re also choosing venues with plenty of space for social distancing. It’s now over two years since we last held any courses and research evidence has shown a decay in the retention of skills learnt on courses such as ours.

“A survey of more than 2,300 people by YouGov, which asked respondents to consider what would make them more or less likely to intervene in a cardiac arrest, clearly shows the positive effect of CPR training.

"In total, 71 per cent of people who have had some first aid professional training would be prepared to stop and help someone if they had a cardiac arrest in any situation.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about the training, is asked to visit cprcounts.com and click on ‘Application Forms For Courses’.

The website also includes regular updates of news, advice and videos.

After surviving his own scare, Malcolm recalls: “I was looking at statistics and, at that time, I had eight per cent chance of surviving and it was only that someone who knew what to do came by chance to take over.

“My experience is why I started feeling the need to ‘give something back’ – improving other victims' chances of survival.

“Don’t imagine, like me, that it couldn’t happen to you. I had had no previous symptoms whatsoever. Cardiac arrests can hit anyone of any age at any time – hence the need for bystanders who know the life-saving drill.

“People should start asking themselves how confident they feel with their ability to save lives.”

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