"Get hands on" - 1/3 of North East adults don't know how to do CPR

The North East is being urged to get "hands on" and learn life-saving CPR as a new survey revealed over a third of the region’s adults didn’t know how to do CPR.

The survey, carried out by YouGov, found:

The results have been shared by the North East Ambulance Service, in the run up to this year’s Restart a Heart Day event on Saturday 16 October. The service has also launched a new free resources section on its website, including videos demonstrations of how to do CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

"People often confuse cardiac arrests with heart attacks, which is perfectly understandable, but they’re very different. The easiest way to remember it is electrics versus plumbing..."

What is the difference?

Alex explains, "With a heart attack, there’s a problem with the plumbing for the heart which means oxygen and blood are unable to get through to various bits of the heart so it can’t pump as well. The person will be conscious but in pain. With a cardiac arrest, there’s a problem with the electrics in the heart which means it’s not beating. That person will be unconscious and not breathing normally.

“In both cases, we want you to ring 999 immediately but if somebody is unconscious and not breathing normally, it’s also really important that you start CPR straight away and use a defibrillator if there’s one nearby. Our health advisors are trained to talk you through CPR over the phone – in fact, they helped around 8,000 people to do this last year – but we encourage everyone to learn CPR to give you the confidence that you’ll know what to do if you’re ever faced with that scenario.

“No-one ever wants to have to do CPR but it’s so easy to learn and your hands could quite literally save someone’s life.”

Restart a Heart Day, which is in its eighth year, aims to train people in how to perform CPR, so they feel confident to act in an emergency.

The campaign is led by Resuscitation Council UK, in partnership with St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and all UK ambulance services.

You can read this recent ITV Tyne Tees report on how to use a defibrillator.