Cardiac arrest survivor welcomes CPR being taught in schools

Former editor of the EADT Terry Hunt with life-saver Lisa Perry from Ipswich. Picture: TERRY HUNT

Former editor of the EADT Terry Hunt with life-saver Lisa Perry from Ipswich. Picture: TERRY HUNT - Credit: TERRY HUNT

A cardiac arrest survivor and former EADT and Ipswich Star editor has hailed a decision to teach basic first aid, including CPR, in schools.

Education secretary Damian Hinds has announced that all children in primary and secondary schools will be taught life-saving skills as part of the National Curriculum.

The move has been welcomed by Terry Hunt, who collapsed in May of last year as he was walking along Carr Street after suffering a cardiac arrest.

He was brought back to life by a paramedic and Lisa Perry, who teaches CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

Read more: Former editor thanks lifesavers for giving him ‘second chance at life’

Mr Hunt said: “It is absolutely brilliant. The survival rate for people having a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is less than 10%. Those are the odds I faced when I collapsed in May.

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“But I was so fortunate that there was a paramedic just 150 metres away and CPR trainer, Lisa Perry, just happened to walk past.

“Over time we should see a dramatic increase in the survival rate to those who have this happen to them outside of hospital. It should be warmly welcomed.”

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However he said that while the move is welcome, more needs to be done to teach older generations.

He said: “Teach the younger generation how to do it but parents, grandparents and the older generation need to learn too.

“Schools are a great start but so much more needs to be done.”

From 2020 youngsters will also be taught how to call 999 and deal with common injuries as soon as they start primary school.

The aim is for them to know how to administer CPR and use a defibrillator by the time they leave secondary school.

Chief executive of St John Ambulance, Martin Houghton-Brown, said: “St John Ambulance welcomes the government’s plans to ensure that life saving first aid skills become a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

“This follows many years of campaigning to make first aid a priority in the classroom and, as a result of this, lives will be saved.

“Young people will also benefit from developing skills that will build their character and strengthen the resilience of their communities.”

Colchester MP Will Quince said: “Having long campaigned for this change, I am so pleased to see first aid and CPR will be added to the national curriculum next year creating a new generation of life savers.”

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