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On Restart A Heart Day, players from Cardiff City Football Club are joining forces with local school pupils to back Save A Life Cymru’s mission to boost the number of people in Wales who can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

First published:
16 October 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Each year in the UK there are over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, with the survival rate as low as 1 in 10. Backed by £586,000 of Welsh Government funding over 2 years, Save A Life Cymru is bringing together partners from across the public and third sectors in Wales - including NHS Wales, the emergency services, local authorities, first-aid and heart charities. Its aim is to raise public awareness of the risks of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, encouraging more people to gain skills in CPR and defibrillation and be better equipped to intervene to save a life.

New research published today by Welsh Government to inform Save A Life Cymru’s work, ‘Exploring public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards bystander CPR and defibrillation in circumstances of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest’, suggests that many people who are CPR trained would not feel confident in administering it (48%). Almost half of those surveyed (47%) said they would not intervene to give bystander CPR due to a fear of making the situation worse. This chimes with the results of a February 2019 One Poll survey which found that 30% of CPR-trained adults would not administer it if they saw someone in cardiac arrest.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething joined Cardiff City players Will Vaulks, Sean Morrison and Callum Patterson, manager Neil Warnock and team doctor Len Nokes at today’s event at Cardiff City Stadium. Mr Nokes’ daughter Claire suffered a cardiac arrest in 2016 and later died aged 25. A group of pupils from nearby Fitzalan High School were also invited to learn CPR techniques alongside the players.

The event coincided with Restart A Heart Day, an annual initiative led by the Resuscitation Council (UK) in partnership with The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and NHS Ambulance Services to highlight the need for lifesaving CPR skills.

Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said:

Sadly many families know only too well that the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest in the community - that is, not in hospital - is very low. We need more people to know what to do, and to have the confidence to take action to save a life. None of us can predict when we might find ourselves in this life or death situation. Any initiative that helps boost the lifesaving capability of our communities across Wales and improve the survival rate has to be a very good thing.

Cardiff City FC Executive Director & CEO, Ken Choo:

We’re very pleased to be able to continue our support of the causes Len Nokes is working so hard for in memory of Claire, in particular the work of Save A Life Cymru this week. I hope that the experiences those attending will encounter will help further Save A Life’s message and ultimately save lives.

Dr Brendan Lloyd, Medical Director at the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said:

Every second counts when someone goes into cardiac arrest. They need immediate CPR from those around them who will often be family members, colleagues or passers-by. As well as good quality CPR, the patient may need to be treated with a defibrillator. Many people don’t realise that a person’s chance of survival decreases by 10% every minute that CPR is delayed. Having this skill can literally mean the difference between life and death, and we would urge everybody to learn it.