Your place is where the heart is…
World Restart A Heart Day 16th October 2018
Us human beings are pretty fixated on our hearts, aren’t we?
We write songs and poetry about them. We can open them, break them, follow them, them. We can wear them on our sleeves, have them in our mouths, learn something by them. We can also love someone with all our heart. Our hearts are amazing. It pumps blood through our body to keep us breathing and is also inextricably linked with all the emotions we feel. It’s our life force and a symbol of health, love and happiness.
So, we ought to look after our heart, right?
And we ought to know what to do when something is not right. Around 150,000 deaths in the UK are caused by heart and other circulatory diseases. And a fair proportion of those are caused by cardiac arrest, where the heart stops pumping blood around the body. Looking at it from a positive perspective, with immediate CPR, the casualty’s chances of survival can be improved. If you experience cardiac arrest in a hospital, your chances of survival are pretty good.
But what happens if you’re not in a hospital?
According to recent figures shared by British Heart Foundation in the August 2018 UK factsheet, around 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests occur every year in the UK. When you consider that without treatment there is around a one in ten chance of survival, you’d be forgiven for feeling your heart sinking into your boots. So let’s get that heart leaping back up into your chest and beating loudly. Whatever the reason for the cardiac arrest, getting the heart started again as soon as possible gets blood circulating to the brain and around the rest of the body. The quicker that someone receives first aid, the better their chances of survival are. In fact, they can as much as double. Every minute that CPR is performed improves survival rates, particularly when administered with the use of a defibrillator.
Who wouldn’t want to put their heart and soul into improving the odds?
Receiving immediate emergency first aid often relies on strangers until the emergency services arrive. Those strangers act out of the kindness of their hearts to perform life-saving CPR. At present, only 22% of people in the UK would feel confident in performing CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). Imagine collapsing in the knowledge that only around 1 person in every 4 or 5 might know how to perform CPR correctly.
There are plans to improve the stat. Big plans!
Every year there is a day of action across the UK called Restart a Heart, led by the Resuscitation Council UK, with the aim of teaching CPR to many people as possible to enable this potential life saving skill administered promptly and with confidence. Many people fear that they will do the wrong thing when performing CPR, but nothing could be further from the truth, and training aims to alleviate those concerns.
This year the day is going global and being renamed World Restart a Heart Day. It takes place on 16 October, 2018. Make sure that date is engraved on your heart. Not literally of course! Last year a whopping 195,000 people were trained. This year the target is a heart-stopping – or should that be heart-starting – 200,000 people! Just imagine what can be achieved with another 200,000 people trained in and ready to confidently use CPR.
The day is supported globally by resuscitation councils covering North, Central and South America, Canada, South Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. You can’t get much more global than that. In the UK, the Resuscitation Council is partnering with the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, UK ambulance services, as well as independent first aid training providers to host CPR events across the length and breadth of the UK. These events can take place at any time in the week leading up to and the week after 16 October 2018, and involve workplaces, schools, community groups, sports and social clubs. The event is open to all who wish to be part of it.
We are proud to be part of the event to show our support.
With thanks to Lilian Baylis Technology School, First Aid Safety is hosting CPR training at a local school, for a group of 12 students. This is one of many 1000’s of events happening globally to raise awareness of first aid in your local community. To find out more about World Restart A Heart Day visit and locate an event near you please visit: https://www.resus.org.uk/events/rsah/. Taking part in an event could quite literally help you to save a life. Save someone’s mother, father, husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparent, cousin, or a best friend, and encourage others to get involved.
Let’s have each other’s best interests at heart.
All facts and figures are supported by British Heart Foundation UK August 2018 factsheet. There is no substitute for thorough training covering both practical and theory exercises. Please seek medical advice in all emergency events.
Be a lifesaver, not a bystander.