Leicestershire Schools Learn Life-Saving Skills
Posted: Mon, 03 Mar 2014
A pioneering scheme to turn children across Leicestershire into a "generation of lifesavers" was launched Friday to a Leicester Tiger's Ground full of about 250 pupils representing schools across Leicestershire.
Under Leicestershire's Heartsafe Schools Programme, children in year 10 at secondary schools across the city and county will be taught emergency resuscitation skills, known as CPR.
Pupils will also learn how to use an automatic defibrillator – and every secondary will get its own defibrillator for use when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.
Dr Doug Skehan, a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, is heading the project.
"This is a pioneering scheme and the first of its kind in the country. It involves local and national charities, schools and health and other organisations."
He said the initiative "promises to create a generation of young lifesavers who can spread their training to their families and other parts of the community".
"Over the next year, we are hoping to provide training for 12,000 pupils. If we can teach more people what to do in an emergency, I believe we can increase the survival rate of people who are seen having a cardiac arrest from the current 10 per cent to perhaps as much as 50 per cent."
Joe's father, Steve, said:
"Thousands of lives could be saved if the public had the skills needed to deliver resuscitation immediately.
"The trust is very proud to be a partner in this initiative."
The first phase of the programme will see training offered to all year 10 students over the next 18 months.
About 60 doctors, nurses and technicians at Leicester's hospitals have volunteered to give the training. School staff will also receive training so they can pass on the skills.