Learn CPR and save a life

The Irish Heart Foundation has backed the latest UK TV campaign featuring Hollywood actor Vinnie Jones promoting hands-only CPR to help save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.

In the new TV advert which airs on Irish screens this month, tough man Jones urges untrained bystanders to give the kiss a miss during CPR and concentrate on giving chest compressions to the beat of Bee Gees’ hit ‘Stayin’ Alive’.

Ireland’s national charity fighting heart disease and stroke has welcomed the campaign created by its counterpart the British Heart Foundation to tackle the barriers to the public performing CPR in an emergency.

“Here in Ireland we know that as little as a third of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR,” said Irish Heart Foundation resuscitation expert Brigid Sinnott. “Many people are afraid to give CPR in an emergency because of their lack of knowledge and many more are put off by the thought of having to give the kiss of life.”

Every year in Ireland an estimated 5,000 people die suddenly from cardiac arrest when their hearts stop beating. Between 70 and 100 of these deaths occur in people under the age of 35. For every minute a person is collapsed without receiving CPR or defibrillation, their chance of survival decreases by between seven and 10 per cent per minute. After five minutes, their chance of survival may be reduced by as much as 50 per cent. But according to Ms Sinnott, with bystander CPR and the availability of a defibrillator within minutes, their chances can greatly improve.

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