ECCH trains pupils to save lives

East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) has been working with pupils from a Great Yarmouth high school to teach them how to save lives in an emergency.

Caister Academy is the first school in the area to take part in a free session aimed at training young people to help if they witness someone having a heart attack or severe allergic reaction.

Twenty four teenagers in Year 10 attended the free two hour course which covered how to recognise signs of cardiac arrest or choking, resuscitation methods for adults and children, use of a defibrillator and how to recognise and treat anaphylaxis.

Ambulance services attempt resuscitation in nearly 30,000 people suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in England each year. As a social enterprise which provides community health services in Norfolk and Waveney, ECCH wants to raise awareness of how to recognise and manage life threatening conditions in order to help increase the chances of survival in local communities.

ECCH’s Training and Development Lead Cheryl Jarvis said: “In other countries this type of training is embedded in communities with people starting to learn CPR skills from an early age, and the survival rate for people suffering cardiac arrest is much higher. In the UK, it isn’t taught in schools as a matter of course and we wanted to address that because there is around a 10% reduction in survival for every minute’s delay in providing defibrillation and we can increase the chance of survival two to threefold by the immediate provision of CPR. If we witness a cardiac arrest and don’t know what to do, the chances of the victim surviving are slim.”

A Department of Health study has shown that more than 1,000 lives could be saved each year in England if more members of the public were trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).and there was greater access to, and willingness to use, defibrillators. The Department for Education has acknowledged the advantage of promoting these skills in schools.

Sarah Arnold, Librarian at Caister Academy, said: “First Aid training is vital these days and giving these skills to students is so important as you never know when you might need to use them.  It was a fantastic first aid session and the students learnt so many new skills. We have a defibrillator at the Academy and now the students have had hands on experience of how to use it, so a big thank you to East Coast Community Healthcare from Caister Academy.”