Restart a Heart Day 2018

Children being taught CPR skills

For the third year running, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was pleased to work with the Resuscitation Council UK and London Ambulance Service to invite school children from the local community to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills as part of Restart a Heart Day.

Fewer than 1 in 10* people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK. The aim of Restart a Heart Day is to improve these very low numbers by teaching young people the essential life-saving skills of CPR.

Using mannequin dummies, children at GOSH were taught about the recovery position, what to do if someone is not breathing normally, how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and how to correctly perform chest compressions. Virtual reality (VR) headsets were also used as part of the training to give children the opportunity to utilise technology as part of an immersive learning experience.

It was a busy, fun and hands-on day with over 300 school children from across London arriving at GOSH to be trained as life savers of the future. Of the event, Denise Welsby, Resuscitation Officer at GOSH says:

“Restart a Heart Day is probably one of the most enjoyable events in our resus calendar. Every year the children who come along to GOSH are full of excitement and eagerness to learn this amazing, lifesaving skill and this year has been no exception.

“Approximately 30,000 people have a cardiac arrest in the UK every year, with reported numbers of paediatric cardiac arrest at schools increasing yearly. If first responders perform CPR immediately, they double the chances of the patient surviving.

“By teaching school children the simple steps of performing CPR, we are creating a generation who will have the confidence to take action if they see a collapsed person, rather than being afraid of doing harm.

“My grateful thanks go to the amazing teachers who helped organise and deliver such a successful event which included members of GOSH staff and the London Ambulance Service, who all gave up their free time to be with us.  Finally, a special word of thanks to Dr Sophie Skellet at GOSH who first introduced us to this the concept of Restart a Heart Day two years ago, and who has shared her belief that everyone has the ability to save a life – age is no barrier”.

Restart a Heart Day is run by the Resuscitation Council and supported by the British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), and the UK NHS ambulance services and fire and rescue services across the country.

*Source: Resuscitation Council (UK), 2017.