Mark Field MP for Cities of London and Westminster took time out from the green benches today to support a British Heart Foundation (BHF) drive to train people in emergency life-saving skills.
Mark learned first hand how to save a life, taking part in a full Heartstart UK training session from the BHF’s Heartstart UK manager, Colin Elding, including using a manikin to learn vital resuscitation skills.
Seven out of ten cardiac arrests occur out-of-hospital and currently in the UK only a small percentage of these people survive. Heartstart UK, co-ordinated by the BHF, teaches members of the public what to do in a life-threatening emergency. Spreading knowledge of these skills is a core part of the BHF’s efforts to reduce deaths from heart and circulatory disease, which is still the UK’s biggest single killer.
The parliamentary event was designed to get MPs on board to help encourage people across the UK to find out about Heartstart UK courses in their area. The BHF also asked MPs to support the siting of life-saving defibrillators in their local community, and expanding the network of volunteers able to use the equipment to reach patients in rural areas.
Peter Hollins, Director General of the BHF, said: “Performing basic life support can double a person’s chances of survival, and having a defibrillator close to hand can further increase their chances. The BHF is working with the Department of Health in England to increase the number of defibrillators in the community and we hope MPs will continue to support this programme and encourage their own constituents to learn these crucial skills.”
Mark says: “When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival drop by up to 14% for every minute that passes where no basic life support is applied, so a speedy response is crucial. That is why schemes like the BHF’s Heartstart UK programme and the National Defibrillator Programme are so important ? they save lives.”
To find out about a Heartstart UK scheme in your area and how to register, visit www.bhf.org.uk/heartstart.