An army of NHS volunteers will be teaching CPR after medics used the procedure to save the life of footballer Christian Eriksen during a Euro 2020 game last weekend.
It comes after St. John Ambulance said the Danish player’s collapse sparked a 1,000% increase in calls asking for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and searches for defibrillator guides increased by 1,900%.
England’s national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, who started the project in collaboration with the ambulance service, said the training will also include cardiac arrest detection and the use of a defibrillator.
On Thursday’s launch, Prof. Powis will tell the NHS Confederation Conference that it is “clear” that Eriksen’s life was saved by “urgent medical care on the field,” which parallels former Arsenal star Fabrice Muamba, who Similar treatment was given during the game of an FA Cup game in London in 2012.
Currently, according to the NHS, only one in three people in England is doing CPR when responding to cardiac arrest.
Prof. Powis said proper education could double the number of lives saved.
“Since Eriksen’s breakdown over the weekend, we’ve also seen good-hearted Brits sharing information online about how to do CPR and save a life,” he said.
“Today I urge you to take it a step further and train yourself in CPR as we know it can save more lives like Christian Eriksen’s.”
He added, “If more people had the confidence and skills to call 999 quickly, provide effective CPR until the ambulance crew arrived, and use a public defibrillator, the number of lives saved would double.
“We saw a massive onslaught of volunteer volunteers supporting life-saving activities during the pandemic and we hope that even more people will be inspired to join our Eriksen Army, learn CPR and become lifesavers.”
Professor Powis told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he received refresher training from the London Ambulance Service “a year or two ago” and said, “You are coming out incredibly confident that this is something you can do.”
Adam Williams, director of community response at St. John Ambulance, said responses to a charity campaign showed people were “hungry for first aid training.”
Williams added, “We look forward to working with training providers, charities, corporations and everyone – young and old – to break the barriers to learning these life-saving skills and give people the confidence to take action when the time comes is required. “
Emergency services will build a national network of defibrillators and community officials to advocate the importance of first aid, which aims to save up to 4,000 lives each year through 2028.
St. John Ambulance recently trained 27,000 vaccination volunteers in these life-saving skills and will seek to train an additional 60,000 people under the new program.
The project will involve at least 30 volunteers from each of the 10 UK ambulance trusts and it will also start with an educational program for school children.
St John Ambulance also offers free CPR and defibrillator classes online through the charity’s website.