‘People of all ages should learn CPR to save lives’ – NI’s Chief Nursing Officer

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Friday, October 25th, 2019


❝ People of all ages should learn CPR so more lives can be saved. ❞


That was the key message from Professor Charlotte McArdle, NI’s Chief Nursing Officer, who was speaking at a ‘World Restart a Heart’ Day event in St Mary’s Grammar School, Belfast.

Five schools across NI took part in informal awareness events where school nurses introduced young people to the skills required to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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Speaking about how learning CPR could be beneficial in everyday life, Professor McArdle said, “Every year in NI there are around 1,500 cardiac arrests that occur outside a hospital environment and sadly fewer than 10% of these people will survive.



“CPR and defibrillation skills are the two immediate interventions needed when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. I think it is important that we educate people of all ages on these skill sets because less than half of bystanders intervene when they see someone collapse.”

Patrick Gallagher, Transformation Nurse Lead for the Department of Health, added, “Today the boys have been learning what to do in an emergency – they have learned to check for normal breathing, to call 999, do chest compressions and give rescue breaths until an ambulance arrives. These actions may help save a life.”

Siobhan Kelly, Principal of St Mary’s Grammar School, said, “This morning my pupils have had the opportunity to increase their confidence and skills in managing an individual who has a cardiac arrest.



“They have been able to practice these essential lifesaving skills in a safe, simulated environment.

“Hopefully they will never have to put them to practice but if they are faced with the situation of someone having a cardiac arrest then we can take assurance from the fact that they will have an understanding of what is required which may help save a life,” she added.

‘Restart a Heart’ day has been delivered in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council (UK) with the financial support and clinical expertise of both the Clinical Education Centre and Department of Health.

Professor McArdle also used this opportunity to talk to and answer questions from the pupils on potential careers in nursing.



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