175 pupils from St Louis Grammar School, Kilkeel, and Aughnacloy College have recently benefitted from CPR training as part of Restart a Heart Day.

Restart a Heart Day is an annual European initiative which aims to raise awareness of the importance of bystander CPR to increase the chance of survival when someone has a cardiac arrest.

The free training sessions were organised by the Southern Health & Social Care Trust and supported by the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland.

Each year in Northern Ireland there are around 1,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs). Every minute counts when someone has an OHCA, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by up to 10 per cent. However, many people simply don’t have the skills and confidence to step in and help, and this training will provide these vital skills.

Helen Cullen, Southern Trust Resuscitation Officer, explained, ‘If the training helps save one life in the future it will have been worthwhile in my opinion. As a result of today, 175 people in our area have been properly trained and will be more confident performing bystander CPR in the case of a cardiac arrest. This could prove crucial in keeping the victim alive until ambulance crews arrive. I would like to thank our colleagues from within the trust for providing the time to help in delivering this training.’

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