Life-saving Skills in Schools

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:06 pm on 22nd November 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East 2:06 pm, 22nd November 2012

In making a brief contribution, I shall carry on where Valerie Vaz left off—with how a piece of music can save a life. She is so right. In a slightly different context, I remember listening to a radio interview with the wife of the great violinist, Yehudi Menuhin. She said she was always terribly worried when her husband played Beethoven’s violin concerto, and when it got to a certain bit—when she knew the end was nigh—she used to sing to herself, “Thank God it’s over, thank God it’s over”. That has ruined Beethoven’s violin concerto for me ever since, because I have never been able to get it out of my mind.

Reading the briefing, I did indeed see that, “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive” is apparently the rhythm that should be followed when administering CPR. I read that in the context of a report from the Daily Mail on 10 January, helpfully included by the Library in the debate pack. In it Dr Rob Galloway told the story of the rector of St Nicholas church in Sevenoaks, Angus MacLeay, who collapsed at the age of 51 and died—but his son and his friend had been told how to administer CPR. The report read:

“Although they had only a few hours’ training, it’s all they needed to know instinctively what to do. They took it in turns, pushing down on the chest in a continuous cycle” that the experts say should, indeed, follow the rhythm of that famous Bee Gees song. Two weeks later he was back at home, having died and been saved by his son.