Heartwize: teaching life-saving skills

Posted by ep256 at Mar 12, 2018 10:44 AM |
Heartwize is trying to teach as many people as possible how to recognise and respond if they witness a cardiac arrest in the community, and has recently delivered training sessions in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences.

Last month, the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences provided staff and students with the opportunity to learn important life-saving skills, including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of a public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

The idea was proposed by Dr William Toff, Associate Professor in Cardiology at the University of Leicester, who is co-founder and co-Director of the Heartwize Resuscitation Training Programme, together with his colleague Dr Doug Skehan.

The Heartwize Programme was established in 2014, with the initial aim being to provide training for pupils at every secondary school in the county. To date, over 20,000 pupils have been trained and the Heartwize team is keen to extend the scope of their training to other community settings, including higher education. The aim of Heartwize is clear: to teach as many people CPR and AED awareness as possible. There are approximately 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the UK, of which approximately half are witnessed. However, bystander CPR is attempted in less than 50% of cases and survival to hospital discharge is less than 8%.

The training delivered by the Heartwize team comprises a one-hour session, with a brief introductory talk followed by hands-on practice using inflatable resuscitation training manikins. The session also provides guidance and practice in the use of an AED.

Multiple sessions were offered in the Department on 21 and 28 February. The Department has also purchased a number of manikins and a training defibrillator, so that new students and staff can learn the skills when they join, as well as allowing an opportunity for people to refresh their skills after the course. Staff and students will be encouraged to borrow the training equipment and take it home to teach their family and friends, using British Heart Foundation training videos that are available online.

The Heartwize team would be delighted to provide training for any other Departments in the University that are interested. If you would like any further information, please contact Dr William Toff.

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