All pupils to be taught life saving CPR in school

Every secondary school pupil in North Lanarkshire will be taught CPR in the classroom to help create a nation of life savers

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The nation's heart charity British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland has welcomed the news and is now actively working with other councils to achieve 100 per cent coverage across the country.

There are around 3,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Scotland each year but the survival rate is just one in 12 and for every minute without CPR, the chances of surviving drop by up to ten per cent.

Cllr Frank McNally, Convener of Education and Families, said: "We are at the forefront of teaching CPR to pupils in our schools, through our long-standing relationship with St Andrew's Ambulance Association.

"We were the first, and still one of the few, councils to site a defibrillator in every secondary and ASN establishment. And our Heartstart champions in our secondary schools carry out training to pass on their knowledge to primary school pupils.

"We're proud that we're enhancing the delivery of key life-skills training through this new partnership with the British Heart Foundation."

Those councils backing the campaign in Scotland have now pledged to work with BHF Scotland to develop a plan to ensure that every secondary pupil receives CPR training at an appropriate age in the curriculum and to work with head teachers and education officials to make it happen.

The move comes after discussions between BHF Scotland and council leaders over putting in place a systematic and sustainable model of CPR training in schools to address the nation's poor survival rate from cardiac arrest outside of hospital. 

Daniel Jones, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, BHF Scotland, said: "This is fantastic news. It means we are within touching distance of our aim of having every local authority in Scotland committed to training their pupils in CPR. Less than one in twelve people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the country, partly because too few bystanders have the expertise or confidence to perform CPR. We are now engaged with the remaining local authorities and look forward to them joining our campaign to create a nation of life savers."

The BHF's Call Push Rescue CPR training kit is free for eligible secondary schools. To find out more about CPR, or how to apply for a kit visit www.bhf.org.uk/cpr

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