Hundreds benefit from free Restart A Heart sessions

Hundreds of islanders have taken part in free CPR and AED sessions during Restart A Heart Week in Guernsey.

Sessions organised by the Guernsey Cardiac Action Group and supported by St John staff and volunteers, were held at community centers across the island as part of the international health promotion event.

Free drop-in events were also staged at Waitrose and in the Market Place in St Peter Port, giving people a chance to get hands on and learn what to do when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest.

St John Emergency Medical Technician Jim Cathcart said: “Anyone can suffer from a cardiac arrest at any time and when someone collapses and stops breathing normally it is important to recognise what has happened, to call 999 to get an ambulance on the way and then perform hands only CPR, which means pushing up and down in the centre of the chest hard and fast until either a defibrillator arrives, the ambulance arrives or someone else turns up to take over”

Mike Froome, Community Resuscitation Development Officer with the Cardiac Action Group added: “People may be worried about the risk of infection during Covid-19 which is why we are following guidance from the Resuscitation Council UK and teaching hands only CPR. Getting hands on before the paramedics arrive gives the patient the best chance of life while reducing the risk of infection to the rescuer.”

Restart A Heart is an annual initiative led by the Resuscitation Council UK. In partnership with the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and alliance of ambulance services. In 2017 the initiative went global with the formation of World Restart a Heart Day which takes place on 16th October every year with health organisations from all over the world working together to increase public awareness of cardiac arrests and increase the number of people trained in life saving CPR.