BMA backs life saving in schools
22 November 2012
All children should be taught vital life-saving skills at school, the BMA has insisted.
Around 60,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest away from hospitals every year in the UK, according to the charity the BHF (British Heart Foundation).
The charity says that teaching CPR in schools might double chances of survival after cardiac arrest.
BMA board of science chair Averil Mansfield has written to the Department for Education to support the call for emergency life-saving skills to be made mandatory in UK school curricula.
In the letter to education and childcare minister Elizabeth Truss, she says: ‘We believe that school-based training in emergency life-saving skills is a vital step to increasing the survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest that occurs out of hospital.
‘This will not only ensure that schoolchildren who witness these emergencies are able to provide life-saving care, but will also create successive generations capable of doing so.’
Fewer than 15 per cent of secondary school pupils currently receive CPR training, according to the BHF, which is leading the campaign.
Professor Mansfield says making the subject mandatory would bring the UK into line with countries such as France, Denmark and Norway.
In an MPs briefing before a Commons debate on the subject this week, the BMA reiterated support for mandatory inclusion in curricula.