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All schoolchildren to be taught life-saving skills from 2020

RCN says plan will help more people in England survive cardiac arrest outside hospital

RCN says plan will help more people in England survive cardiac arrest outside hospital


Picture: Alamy

The RCN and healthcare charities have welcomed plans for all children in England to be taught life-saving skills in school from 2020.

Under government proposals, primary school children will be taught basic first aid, how to deal with common injuries and how to call to emergency services.

By the end of secondary school, pupils will learn how to administer CPR, the purpose of defibrillators and basic treatment for common injuries.

'Where CPR is already taught in schools, there is a higher survival rate of cardiac arrest'

Andy Lockey, vice-president, Resuscitation Council (UK)

The RCN is part of Every Child a Lifesaver, a coalition of charities and healthcare organisations that has campaigned for life-saving skills to be taught to children and young people.

RCN professional lead for children and young people Fiona Smith said: ‘There are clear examples where children who have had CPR training have saved lives, including their own parents', because they have been prepared to take some action and they don’t feel powerless.’

'A decisive moment'

There are 30,000 cardiac arrests outside hospital every year in the UK and the British Heart Foundation described the plans to introduce CPR to the school curriculum as a ‘decisive moment’ in the battle to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.

Resuscitation Council (UK) vice-president Andy Lockey said the organisation was looking forward to working with the Department of Education to put the plans into practice.

‘We know that where CPR is already taught in schools, there is a higher survival rate of cardiac arrest,' he said.


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