College receives cardiac arrest award

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Tutor Paul Turton and students

Tutor Paul Turton and students

Knowsley Community College has received an award for its dedication to cardiac arrest awareness.

The Gold Cardiac Smart award, created by the North West Ambulance Service and The British Heart Foundation, recognises the college’s dedication to heart health.

The college installed mobile defibrillators in 2010 and since then 300 staff and students have received training in how to operate life-saving cardiac equipment. It also offers training to people using the sports facilities out of hours.

Pam Griffiths, the Health and Safety manager at Knowsley College, told JMU Journalism: “Knowsley Community College consider training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as essential for survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest . In some countries the teaching of CPR has seen the survival rate from out of hospital cardiac arrests rise to as high as 52% whilst the UK rate can be as low as 8%.

“Young people are potentially important bystander CPR providers, as basic life support training can be distributed widely as part of the college curriculum and enrichment offer.”

Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body and can occur for many reasons, including when a blood clot has formed in the lungs or arteries.

Figures published by the NHS last year show that just 18.5% of people who suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital survive but this could be improved with basic training.

Pam added: “Misconceptions around what you need to do to save a life means that many people young and old alike are not keen to perform this.

“It is essential that we educate our learners, staff and facilities users on how to save a life and this includes everything from being able to call 999 and give good information to the ambulance service to performing chest compressions.

“We are aware that regardless of fitness levels a heart attack can happen at any time.”

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About Rachael Leitch, JMU Journalism