CPR could be the most important lesson you ever learn

Ben Lee, the Relationship Fundraising Manager at the British heart Foundation, smiling, standing on a bridge with a city harbour and houses in the background.
Today’s guest blog is from Ben Lee, who is the Relationship Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation.

Would you know what to do if a loved one had a sudden cardiac arrest in front of you?

A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time – it could be someone you know or a complete stranger. And when it happens every second counts.

Knowing what to do in the ultimate medical emergency could be the difference between life and death.

According to new survey for the BHF, only half of people said they could perform lifesaving CPR on a loved one if the worst should happen.

Most cardiac arrests out of hospital take place in the home, meaning you are more likely to need these skills to save the life of someone you know.

This February as part of Heart Month, we have been calling on everyone to learn CPR using the BHF’s digital training tool, RevivR.

RevivR is free, quick and simple to use and in just 15 minutes you will be equipped with the skills that could help you save a life. All that is needed is a mobile phone and a firm cushion. 

RevivR teaches how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions and outlines the correct steps of using a defibrillator, giving anyone the confidence to step in and help.

It only takes 15 minutes – that’s a coffee break, half time in the football or the time you might spend scrolling through social media. So please put it on your to-do list today.  It could be the most important lesson you ever learn.

Alongside learning CPR with RevivR as part of Heart Month, we have also been asking people to “Go Red” to help fund groundbreaking research into heart and circulatory diseases, which affect around 46,000 people in Bristol.

We’re delighted that the Mayor of Bristol has joined in the “Go Red” challenge by lighting up the M Shed and City Hall in support of the campaign.  

The BHF is the largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. Since we were established in 1961, our research and campaigning has contributed to the annual number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK falling by half. Despite progress, heart and circulatory diseases still cause 70 deaths each month in Bristol.

We’re currently investing more than £15 million into research right here in Bristol – only made possible by the generosity of donations from the public. For example, researchers at the Bristol Heart Institute are investigating how they could improve the way surgeons treat children living with congenital heart disease, so they don’t need as many open-heart operations.

They have developed a revolutionary ‘heart plaster’. These patches have the potential to adapt and grow with the child’s heart as they get older, removing the need for repetitive heart surgeries and the many days at hospital recovering after each one. We are currently funding a project to ge these patches ready for testing in patients so clinical trials can start in the next two years, enabling more children and babies to benefit from the life-altering technology.

For more than 60 years BHF-funded research has turned ideas that once seemed like ‘science fiction’ into reality. By going red for the BHF this Heart Month, you will be supporting the discovery of new treatments and breakthroughs for heart and circulatory diseases and helping keep families together for longer.

To support the British Heart Foundation this Heart Month, visit bhf.org.uk/heartmonth