Appeal for lifesavers

A final rallying call to learn life-saving skills has been issued to staff and students.

Volunteers helping run the training session in the University Precinct last year

Restart a Heart Day CPR training sessions on campus are a huge success. October 2018

For the second year running, volunteers from the School of Medicine’s Clinical Skills Team will be staging a series of free drop-in sessions on campus and in the city centre, as part of the global Restart a Heart Day initiative on Wednesday 16 October.

An impressive total of 1,164 people learned life-saving skills in Leeds thanks to the success of last year’s student-led campaign, which received widespread praise.

The dedicated team behind the initiative is hoping to smash that figure this time around. And Professor Mark Kearney, Dean of the School of Medicine, is appealing for colleagues to play their part in this success story.

He said: “Restart a Heart Day is really important – it’s your opportunity to help save lives, young and old.

“In clinic today, I’ve been thinking about patients we’ve lost to sudden death, which is why it’s so important as many people as possible get involved in this crucial campaign.”

Volunteers demonstrating CPR skills and how to use a defibrillator 

Statistics show two thirds of the UK population doesn’t know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). For every minute a person suffering a cardiac arrest doesn't have chest compressions, their chance of survival reduces by 10%.

A team of staff and students from the School of Medicine will be outside Leeds University Union on Restart a Heart Day to improve people’s confidence in performing CPR and using a defibrillator – a device that gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest walls to someone who is in cardiac arrest. The quicker the patient can be given shocks in combination with CPR, the greater the chance of successful resuscitation.

About 40 volunteers will be manning the stations between 2 and 7pm on Wednesday 16 October, as well as outside the Trinity shopping centre in Albion Street between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 19 October.

The drop-in nature of these events allow for anyone to pop by and learn CPR skills, as well as familiarising themselves with a public-access defibrillator (AED) … all in the space of just eight minutes.

Working in partnership with the University's Facilities Directorate, Leeds University Union, the Resuscitation Council (UK), Leeds City Council, the British Heart Foundation, Leeds Heart Beats and Yorkshire Ambulance Service, the drop-in sessions support the initiative to install defibrillators across campus, with more than 30 of the life-saving machines now in place (click on the Facilities tab of the campus map to see where they are located). These are all registered with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

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