Life-saving Skills in Schools

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 1:32 pm on 22nd November 2012.

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Photo of Anne Marie Morris Anne Marie Morris Conservative, Newton Abbot 1:32 pm, 22nd November 2012

My hon. Friend gives me added ammunition and I am delighted to hear what has happened in her community. That is absolutely first rate.

Although we talk mainly about heart attacks, there are more cases of cardiac arrest generally but we are not necessarily as aware of them. A person can suffer an arrest if they lose an excessive amount of blood, suffer a lack of oxygen, become very hot or very cold, or have a blood clot on the lung. It could happen to anybody. It does not have to be someone who suffers from heart disease or is elderly; it could happen to any of us here.

As was alluded to earlier, 60,000 cardiac arrests happen outside hospitals—two thirds in the home and one third in public. In the public arena there is often a witness, and in half those cases somebody who would be able to do something if they were properly trained. Irreversible brain damage to an individual who is not helped can take place in very few minutes. Every minute counts and there is a 10% reduction in someone’s chances of survival for every minute that passes. That must be put in context with the time the ambulance takes to arrive. The target at the moment is eight minutes, and 75% of ambulances make that. If we do our maths, however, it does not leave long to get professionals to the site.