Saving lives and breaking world records will be seamlessly rolled into one as Manchester marks European Restart a Heart Day this Friday.
Students at the University of Manchester are looking to train more than 700 people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as part of a relay that would see the city’s lifesavers enter into the Guinness World Records.
The record requires participants to be ‘consecutively performing at least 60 proper chest compressions at 100 beats per minute on the same mannequin, with no more than five seconds in between each turn’.
The American Heart Association set the record in June in the pulsating setting of Times Square, and while organisers are keen to bypass the previous record, the importance goes beyond a mere cachet.
Katie Stephens, 22, who is attempting to organise the event, said: “The main principle is that we’re trying to increase the number of people who are trained within the university and within the general public.
“I think it’s really important that people have some sort of knowledge of first aid, because if you look at the number of heart attacks, most of them are happening outside of hospital.”
According to figures from the British Heart Foundation, there are 30,000 cardiac arrests per year that occur outside of hospital.
A frightening number when you consider that in a recent study, 77% of people admitted they were unsure or did not know how to perform CPR.
Miss Stephens, who runs Heartstart, a society that teaches first aid with particular emphasis on CPR, hopes that Friday’s relay attempt can help to improve the UK survival rate from cardiac arrest, which lags far behind countries such as Norway and Holland.
She said: “A lot of countries have started to introduce it into their educational programme at school, and they’ve actually had massively reduced deaths, because it is effective.
“For the world record attempt, the volunteers will have about an hour’s course to do with training in first aid, and then they’ll do a series of compressions on the resuscitation dolls.
“Along with the trainers, they’ll be taught how to do the CPR and first aid, and then after that, we’ve just got a dummy that we’ve got to constantly do compressions on for the whole 700 people!”
The Guinness World Record attempt for Most People in a CPR Replay will be held outside University Place, Oxford Road, on Friday October 16, from 7am.
To sign up, visit here.
Image courtesy of Nato Training Mission – Afghanistan, with thanks.