CPR in secondary schools call receives political support

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A Northumberland MP is backing a British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign for a Parliamentary debate to take place on the issue of teaching life-saving CPR in secondary schools.

More than 80,000 people across the UK have supported the charity’s efforts to make CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation – and public access defibrillator awareness a mandatory part of secondary education.

It says that ensuring every young person is taught the vital skill could radically improve survival rates from cardiac arrest.

The issue was the focus of a 90-minute Westminster Hall debate in which MPs, including Guy Opperman, who represents the Hexham constituency, also challenged the Department for Education to commit to the cause.

He said: “By making CPR a mandatory part of secondary education, we would be teaching the next generation one of the most important lessons they will ever learn – how to save a life.

“In these emergency situations, every second counts. We need everyone to have the confidence and the skills to step in and give someone the best possible chance of survival.”

The BHF’s petition was later formally presented to John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons.

Simon Gillespie, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Without help, a person having a cardiac arrest will die within minutes, but effective and immediate CPR can help double the chances of survival in some cases.”