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London hospital encourages CPR awareness during National Heart Month

16th February 2012 Print

BMI The London Independent Hospital is this month supporting the British Heart Foundation’s National Heart Month by encouraging people to learn about hands only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Hands only CPR gives people, who haven’t had full CPR training, the confidence and knowledge required to step in and save a life. Research has shown that hands only CPR increases the rate of survival, in patients who have cardiac arrest or whose heart has stopped, by 22 per cent. In the UK each year 124,000 people suffer a heart attack and one in three people who have a heart attack die before reaching hospital.

BMI The London Independent Hospital is encouraging people who haven’t had CPR training to ignore the kiss of life in favour of hands only CPR. The London Independent Hospital is running a free CPR training course on 27 February. Limited spaces are available but if you are interested in attending please email: lih[at]

Commenting on the awareness campaign, Consultant Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist Dr Mehul Dhinoja at The London Independent Hospital: “Every second counts in the treatment of patients who suffer cardiac arrest following a heart attack. If you suspect that someone is having or has had a heart attack you must immediately dial 999. Advice from the British Heart Foundation still states that the combined method, chest compressions with rescue breaths, is still the gold standard of CPR. But, for those who haven’t had CPR training hands-only CPR, which involves hard and fast compressions at the rate of 100-120 beats per minute, is an effective tool to help save someone’s life. Hand’s only CPR is easy to remember and gives people the opportunity to step up and become a hero when most needed.”

If an adult has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally and is unresponsive, they will have gone into cardiac arrest. Here Dr Dhinoja provides advice on what people should do if they suspect someone has had a heart attack which has led to cardiac arrest:

1) If the person is unconscious check that they are breathing
You can do this by looking, listening and feeling. Look at the subject, to see if their chest is rising. Listen, closely near their mouth for any breath sounds and feel for any breath against your cheek. If they aren’t breathing you need to look in their mouth and remove any visible pieces of food or other foreign objects. Provided that dentures are not broken or loose, it is better not to remove them. Call 999 immediately and state that the casualty is not breathing. You will then need to provide CPR until the patient begins to breathe or the ambulance arrives.

2) How to perform hands only CPR
If you are not trained in CPR then you should assist by performing hands only CPR. To carry out a chest compression, place the heel of your hand at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down (5-6cm) onto their chest. If you have not been trained in CPR, do not attempt to perform rescue breathing, instead focus on giving hard and fast chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute.

Executive Director Kirsty Baker at BMI The London Independent Hospital comments, “We hope that our support of this campaign will help to raise awareness and understanding around the symptoms of heart attack and the quick action required to help save someone’s life. Hands-only CPR should give people the confidence and know-how to step in when required and help save the life of someone in cardiac arrest, the ultimate medical emergency.”