The television presenter is giving her backing to a national campaign which aims to teach vital CPR skills to every youngster in Scotland before they leave school.
Kelly is supporting the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland’s Nation of Life Savers campaign, calling on all councils to commit to providing the training in the classroom. The charity is on the verge of achieving its aim, with 29 of the country’s 32 local authorities signed up and advanced discussions now taking place with the final 3 councils – Falkirk, Moray and Fife.
The star endorsed the campaign in a specially recorded BHF Scotland video. She said: “When someone has a cardiac arrest, it’s the ultimate medical emergency. Every second counts. And so knowing what to do could mean the difference between life and death. That’s why Scotland wants to create a Nation of Life Savers, training every pupil in vital CPR skills before they leave school. A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. It could be a loved one, it could be you. Everyone should learn CPR and training in schools is key.”
READ MORE: Smartphones five times more effective
at diagnosing heart conditions save lives
There are around 3,500 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Scotland each year but the survival rate is just one in 12 and for every minute without CPR, the chances of surviving drop by up to ten per cent. In countries where CPR is more widely taught, survival rates as high as 1 in 4 have been reported. International evidence has shown that in countries like Denmark, which legislated for all secondary pupils to learn CPR and adopted best practice in emergency response, survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests have tripled.
BHF Scotland’s campaign should lead to around 50,000 young people being trained every year in the skills that could save a life.
Daniel Jones, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, BHF Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Lorraine Kelly’s support for our Nation of Life Savers campaign. We have been hugely encouraged by the response of councils across Scotland wanting to work with us and committing to ensure that all pupils are trained in CPR before they leave school. We are in now in very advanced and very positive discussions with the final three local authorities and within touching distance of achieving our aim of 100 per cent coverage.”
READ MORE: Video: TV star Carol Smillie teaches CPR with help of Proclaimers hit
Councils backing the campaign in Scotland have pledged to work with BHF Scotland to develop a plan to ensure that every secondary pupil receives CPR training at an appropriate age in the curriculum and to work with head teachers and education officials to make it happen.
The move comes after discussions between BHF Scotland and council leaders over putting in place a systematic and sustainable model of CPR training in schools to address the nation’s poor survival rate from cardiac arrest outside of hospital.
The BHF’s Call Push Rescue CPR training kit is free for eligible secondary schools. To find out more about CPR, or how to apply for a kit visit www.bhf.org.uk/cpr