Ealing schoolchildren in year 8 are to be given hands-on lessons by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) to save lives as part of an initiative to develop a generation of lifesavers.
Ealing was prioritised by LAS following data that revealed Ealing had the second lowest bystander CPR rate in London which highlighted the need to train people to give help to a person in cardiac arrest before an ambulance arrives.
The London Lifesavers schools programme is free to schools to grow the number of people across the capital to help respond to cardiac arrests.
Children are taught how to recognise when someone is in cardiac arrest and how to give chest compressions to keep blood pumping round the body. They are shown how to use a defibrillator, which can restart a heart.
Sam Palfreyman-Jones, head of First Responders said: “We have looked at the number of cardiac arrest patients and survival rates to decide where we can have the most impact with our training. We know that by teaching life-saving skills in schools in Ealing and giving children the confidence to use a defibrillator, more lives will be saved in those crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives.”
Ms Palfreyman-Jones added: “Most cardiac arrests happen in the home, so we hope to show children that by learning these simple skills, they could save someone they love.”
LAS added that in cities such as Copenhagen, Seattle and Victoria State survival rates improve with increased bystander intervention and they say the same can also happen in London.
LAS chief executive Daniel Elkeles said: “The good news is that we have some of the best response ambulance response times in the country for cardiac arrest patients but every second counts before an ambulance arrives and evidence shows that increasing bystander intervention is the key.
“We need to build a social movement that makes life-saving training one of the things that lots of people know how to do and we need to get defibrillators in every corner of the city – and that work begins in Ealing.”