Throughout Northern Ireland, 1400 people suffer out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest each year.
Unfortunately less than 10% of these survive to be discharged from hospital, and therefore 1260 die.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, in partnership with British Heart Foundation and other health partners, will today train up to 5,000 young people in the basics of CPR, as part of a European Resuscitation Council initiative.
This is planned to be the largest CPR training event of its kind in one day, with simultaneous events planned throughout the UK.
Research has shown that in countries where CPR is taught in schools, the survival rate from Cardiac Arrest can be up to 30%.
The initiative aims to introduce young people to the concept of “compression/hands only” CPR where young people will learn how simple it is to increase the survival chances of a family member, friend or even a complete stranger.
Launching the event at St Louise’s Comprehensive College, Belfast, where 1,400 pupils will receive the training throughout the day, Karen McCammon, Health Service Engagement Lead BHF NI said, “Shockingly, thousands of lives are being lost every year because people lack the confidence and skills to step in and save a life when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest.
“Survival rates in Northern Ireland have remained stubbornly low for far too long and it’s time we improved them. Results from a BHF survey released today show that 62 per cent of people in Northern Ireland would be worried about knowing what to do if someone suffered a cardiac arrest in front of them.
“We need as many people as possible to learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and try to save a life when they see someone suffer a cardiac arrest. Today’s training is a fantastic step towards training all children in CPR. That has to be the ultimate goal to give victims of cardiac arrest the best chance of survival
“That’s why we are urging post primary schools across Northern Ireland to apply for our free training kits and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.”