Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time – and to anyone – so it would perhaps make sense for children across schools in the UK to be taught basic first aid and CPR.
This is the concept being put forward by child branch student editor Gary Williams in Nursing Times, who has been volunteering with the first
responders from the Lincolnshire Voluntary Integrated Emergency Service to teach a group of cub scouts about first aid, how to perform CPR and how to use a defibrillator.
He noted that because the chance of a sudden heart attack-related death in children is low, this has made people unprepared for such an event because they simply don’t expect someone so young to have this kind of health complication.
Mr Williams wrote: “The government are unwilling to make the teaching of a basic skill for survival compulsory in schools … Before training the cubs, we asked them what they knew about CPR – 90 per cent of them knew they had to press on the body but most had no idea how. Many believed it was the abdomen that they should be pumping.”
Figures from Heart UK show that every seven minutes someone in the UK will have a heart attack, with one million men and almost 500,000 women now living with the after-effects of cardiac arrest. What’s more, 800,000 people are living with heart failure, while 20,000 new cases of angina and 25,000 cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year.
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