British Heart Foundation: Hands-only CPR - Hard, Fast & Effective

Grey London

Advertiser: British Heart Foundation
Brand: British Heart Foundation
Country: United Kingdom


Every year around 60,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital in the UK1. A cardiac arrest is a medical emergency when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. Only an average of 7% (4,200) survive to be discharged from hospital2. However, if someone can get the blood circulating again by carrying out chest compressions this can double survival rates3. This technique is officially known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) wanted to increase rates of CPR in the UK amongst any bystanders who might witness a cardiac arrest.

Why is training bystanders so important?

  • Speed of intervention is critical - Performing CPR is about buying time and restoring oxygenated blood to the brain and heart until professional help arrives. For every minute that goes by, a victim's chance of survival drops 10%.4
  • Ambulances cannot cope - UK ambulances are targeted to be at the scene within 8 minutes for a life threatening call. But only 75% of ambulances make it in this time5. Meanwhile, the number of people calling 999 has increased by +56% from 4.4m to 7.9m between 2001 and 2010,6 while the number of qualified ambulance staff since 2007 had remained largely static.7
  • UK training in CPR lags behind other nations - Only a quarter of the UK is trained in CPR8, well behind other western nations (see below).
Denmark School pupil aged 12-15 are taught CPR skills
Australia Since 2005 Australian state schools have provided CPR training to all students before leaving Year 12
United States 36 of the 56 State Goverements have passed legislation to teach CPR in schools
Seattle, US CPR has been taught in PE lessons for over 30 years
France CPR as a mandatory part of their school curricula
Norway CPR as a mandatory part of their school curricula