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Save a life Cymru: Touch Someone’s Life

Save a life Cymru: Touch Someone’s Life

What is a cardiac arrest?

A sudden cardiac arrest happens when the heart unexpectedly stops pumping blood around the body. If someone is in cardiac arrest, the heart is unable to act as a pump and the flow of blood to the brain and to the rest of the body stops, which means they stop breathing normally. This can happen for many reasons, and usually happens without any warning.

A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any age. Every year in Wales, over 6,000 people will have a sudden cardiac arrest in the community and approximately 80% of those will happen in the home.

Because of COVID-19, many people are now spending more time at home.

How can Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) help?

CPR is an emergency first aid procedure that anyone can do to ‘buy some time’ until the ambulance service arrives. It involves someone pressing up and down on the collapsed person’s chest, this is called CPR. Without CPR, the person will die, usually in minutes.

It is important to understand the steps involved in CPR this it is called the Chain of Survival.

The ‘Chain of Survival’ describes the crucial elements that can save a life when someone has a cardiac arrest in the community.

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chain of survival

What can I do?

By taking a few minutes to learn some basic CPR skills, you can ‘Touch Someone’s Life” and give them the chance of life. It could be someone in your family, a friend, a neighbour or a passerby.

We want to encourage everybody in Wales to learn CPR skills online so that they are confident of the steps they need to take when a person has a cardiac arrest.

A cardiac arrest is an emergency, but by using some basic knowledge and skills, you can increase someone’s chance of survival.

Currently only 30-40% of people who have a cardiac arrest in the home or in the wider community will receive CPR by a bystander. CPR and defibrillation can treble their chance of survival.

CPR can be lifesaving and must be started immediately.

Touch Someone’s Life and learn CPR and defibrillation skills

Touch Someone’s Life, is a campaign, to encourage everybody in Wales to learn CPR skills so that they are confident of the steps they need to take when a person has a cardiac arrest. This is an emergency, but by using some basic knowledge and skills, you can increase your loved one’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest.

Currently only 30-40% of people who have a cardiac arrest in the home or in the wider community will receive CPR by a bystander. CPR and defibrillation can treble their chance of survival.

CPR can be lifesaving and must be started immediately.

If a sudden cardiac arrest occurs to your loved one at home – their only chance of survival could be YOU.

Knowing how to do CPR and how to use a defibrillator can help you act more effectively in what can be a very stressful situation.

Take a few minutes to learn or refresh your CPR skills- they could be some of the most important minutes you can spend, which could help you save a precious life.

Please encourage all your family and friends to do the same.

Case studies

Touch someone's life: Phil from Wrexham
Phil from Wrexham
Phil Nunnerley survived 2 cardiac arrests and owes his life to CPR.
Kevan's story
Kevan Roberts’s life was saved by his wife.

Support after doing CPR

Survival rates with early CPR and using a defibrillator can be as high as 40%. However, performing CPR may not always result in a successful and happy ending. If you have been affected by any of the personal stories here or have your own concerns and difficulties, please contact the Samaritans.

Samaritans volunteers are available 24/7 and offer a safe and confidential space for someone to talk about how they’re feeling. You can call for free day or night on 116 123 or call in Welsh on 0808 164 0123 for free every day between 7pm-11pm.

If you’d prefer to write things down, you can email jo@samaritans.org.

Save a Life Cymru partners

Save a Life Cymru is a partnership between a wide range of organisations from the public, charity and third sectors who offer CPR and defibrillation support and advice. Many of these organisations and charities run CPR and defibrillation training courses and offer support to anyone affected by sudden cardiac arrest.

Would you be interested in getting a defibrillator installed in your street, hamlet, town or village?

Please visit their websites to find out what is available in your area.

New CPR guidelines for COVID-19 times:

While the COVID-19 virus remains in our communities Resuscitation Council UK and Welsh Ambulance Service Trust have issued new safety CPR instructions.

If you received your CPR training pre COVID-19 here is a list of the small but important changes you should do to keep yourself:

  • Do not put your face next to the collapsed person’s face to check for normal breathing
  • Shake the person by the shoulders to check for a response
  • Look to see if the chest is falling up and down, check whether breathing is abnormal or has stopped completely
  • Loosely place a cloth or towel over the mouth and nose of the unconscious person
  • Only do chest compressions and defibrillation.
  • Do not do mouth to mouth rescue breaths on an adult.
  • Always do mouth to mouth rescue breaths on a child under 8 years old. It is likely that you will know the child having a cardiac arrest. While there may be a risk of transmitting COVID-19 virus, it is small compared to the risk of taking no action as this will result in certain cardiac arrest and the death of the child.

For more information about CPR and defibrillation, visit the Resuscitation Council UK website.

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