Scottish Government Viewpoint
SAVE a life – make sure you know what to do if someone has a heart attack.
That's the message of heart charities and the Scottish Government, following the launch of a new initiative aimed at ensuring people are prepared should the worst happen.
Every week in Scotland 70 people have a cardiac arrest – that's a full double decker bus load. It means the heart has stopped beating. No blood is flowing to the brain and other vital organs and without immediate action death occurs in a few minutes.
It can happen to anyone at anytime and doing CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) buys time for the ambulance to arrive and can double the chances of someone surviving.
Save a Life For Scotland is asking everyone in Scotland to get CPR ready – and the Scottish Government has launched a video online which shows you what to do in just such an emergency.
James Cant, director at British Heart Foundation Scotland, which is backing the campaign, said: "When someone has a cardiac arrest their chances of survival decrease with every passing minute. After even a few minutes, if no-one has attempted CPR it is too late – but you can help.
"It's vital that people know what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest. This includes calling 999 immediately, performing CPR and being able to access and use a defibrillator as soon as possible.
"This new film from the Scottish Government shows us that everyone should give CPR a go if someone nearby goes into cardiac arrest. We all have it in us to be life savers and it could be the life of a loved one that you save, as most cardiac arrests occur in the home.
"I'd urge everyone to spend a couple of minutes watching this film and absorbing its message, as it could make the difference between life or death."
The scheme comes amid research that suggests some people are fearful of doing CPR wrongly and doing more harm than good.
But the new campaign is keen to stress that the situation cannot get worse for someone who is minutes from death unless prompt action is taken.
If you don't do CPR then the chances of that person surviving drop by 10 per cent with every minute that passes.
And the new video highlights that any CPR is better than no CPR at all – adding that learning the lifesaving skill is easier than you think.
The new video can be viewed at www.savealife.scot
How to save a life
What are the key steps of doing CPR?
1. If someone collapses and is not breathing, first call 999 and then shout for help.
2. Clasp your hands together, lock your fingers, knuckles up, lock your elbows and keep your arms straight.
3. Begin hands only CPR, pushing down hard to the beat of 500 miles on the centre of the person's chest.
4. Keep going until ambulance arrives.
5. Remember – don't delay in starting CPR. Any CPR is better than no CPR.
* To find out more visit www.bhf.org.uk/cpr