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Call for children to be taught CPR in schools

NZ Resuscitation Council calls for children to be taught CPR in schools

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council urges the NZ government to rise to the standard recently set by English schools, and teach children first aid and CPR as a core part of the health and physical education curriculum.

The English initiative will form part of a compulsory health program in schools, alongside education about relationships, sex and mental health.

It has been warmly received by organisations such as the Heart Foundation and the Resuscitation Council (UK).

“If the English can do it, so can we,” says Kevin Nation, Chief Executive of the NZ Resuscitation Council.

“Resuscitation techniques sometimes seem more daunting to attempt than they really are, so it’s fantastic to see children being taught these invaluable skills.”

The NZ Resuscitation Council believes a generation of children confident in their ability to save lives can have a tremendous impact. We will all benefit from a safer, more productive society with reduced healthcare costs.

Two hours teaching annually, beginning at 12 years old, is enough to reach not only the children themselves but their wider communities.

“Kids come home buzzing to share what they learn, and it could be their siblings or parents who then go on to save a life,” says Mr Nation.

“This is an internationally established, common sense policy, and with the government already reviewing our educational curriculum we believe this is the perfect time to discuss teaching CPR in every school”.

Background

Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in industrialized nations, and ischaemic heart disease is the second most prevalent cause of death in our country.

A professional response by paramedics and physicians generally takes at least five minutes to arrive, and the brain starts to die after 3-5 minutes.

In most cases, bystanders who witness such a collapse can perform at least basic chest compressions, the key procedure to protect the brain from dying.

Approximately 12% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims in New Zealand survive following emergency CPR.

This figure is an improvement upon the past, but the NZ Resuscitation Council is confident we can do better.

ENDS


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