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Express & Star comment: High time everyone knew CPR

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

Surely it is time for CPR training to be made compulsory in this country?

Cardiac arrest survivor Peter Corr, from Trench, with his wife Joanne and children Laurence, Emillia and Isla

The case of Peter Corr, who collapsed while jogging, certainly shows the importance of possessing such skills and knowledge in this day and age.

The father-of-three is grateful to a group of passers-by who saved his life when he suffered cardiac arrest.

Had they not been on hand – and had two of them not been trained in CPR – then Mr Corr would almost certainly have died.

It is no secret that CPR saves lives, and most people can develop the skills required after a short training session.

Statistics show us that the survival rate for heart attack victims rises dramatically if CPR has been performed before they get to hospital.

Yet remarkably, the vast majority of people are not trained in it.

Some charities, including British Heart Foundation, have volunteers who give training sessions.

Many local hospitals around the country also have staff on hand to give lessons.

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While this work is certainly admirable, it is time for a more formal approach.

Thankfully, from 2020 life-saving first aid techniques look set to be included in the national school curriculum after years of tireless campaigning.

CPR will form part of compulsory health education for secondary school students, as will basic treatment for common injuries, under plans first mooted last year.

And primary pupils will be taught basic first aid alongside the steps they can take to protect and support the health and wellbeing of others.

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This is long overdue.

Britain has shockingly low survival rates from cardiac arrests, and the lack of people trained in CPR techniques is a big reason why.

At the moment less than one in 10 people survive an out of hospital heart attack, but evidence suggests nearly one in four could survive if all young people are trained in CPR.

This will be a significant step in the right direction, but it must go further.

To make an immediate impact, first aid courses need to be launched in work places up and down the country as a matter of urgency.

Everyone should know how to cope in a crisis.

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