Graeme Souness wants football fans to learn CPR after it was revealed more than half of Brits don’t know how.
The football legend – who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease in his early thirties – knows how vital CPR can be, which is why he is working with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on their new campaign.
A new survey of 2,000 UK adults shows that almost half of Britons know someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest, while one in five people have been in a situation where they needed CPR.
Graeme, a long-time ambassador for the charity said “if every football fan across the UK did the 15 minute session to learn CPR it could be a game changer for survival rates”.
“CPR could be the most important lesson you ever learn. Having been diagnosed with coronary heart disease myself at the age of 33, it really could happen to anyone,” he said.
“With RevivR, in just 15 minutes – half-time – you’ll have the skills to save a life. Every fan at every football club across the country can make a difference, so please join the BHF today and let’s join together to create a new team of lifeguards.’
There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, but fewer than one in 10 people survive.
Early CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. Metro.co.uk exclusively told the story of Nicky Lack last week, who saved her husband’s life after he encouraged her to train as a first aider.
Following footballer Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, the survey also found that nine out of 10 fans wanted to learn how to perform CPR, but a staggering 45% of the population admitted they would not be able to spot signs of a cardiac arrest.
Former Liverpool FC captain and pundit Graeme Souness, 69, recently surprised Tooting and Mitcham United FC by putting the players through their paces with an on-pitch CPR training session using the BHF’s free online tool RevivR.
Shin pads containing simple CPR instructions were also handed out to players as a reminder while under pressure.
The shin pads are part of a trial by the British Heart Foundation which could be rolled out nationally.
Symptoms of cardiac arrest
According to the British Heart Foundation, a cardiac arrest usually happens without warning. If someone has a cardiac arrest, they suddenly collapse and:
- He will be unconscious
- It won’t respond
- Not breathing or breathing normally – not breathing normally may mean they make gasping noises
Without immediate treatment or medical attention, the person will die. If you see someone in cardiac arrest, call 999 immediately and start CPR.
Graeme told the group about his own experience of coronary heart disease after his diagnosis left him wondering, “How could this happen to me?”
While managing Liverpool FC, the soccer star went on to have a triple heart bypass in what he describes as an “extremely vulnerable” experience.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “As a football-loving nation, we are delighted to have the support of legend of the game Graeme Souness to encourage fans to learn life-saving CPR.
“A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any age. If every fan in the country took the 15 minutes it takes to learn CPR with RevivR, it could mean the difference between life and death.’
RevivR means anyone can learn CPR – and all they need is a mobile phone and a pillow.
It teaches how to recognize a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions and outlines the correct steps to use a defibrillator, giving anyone the confidence to help in the ultimate medical emergency.
The BHF is now urging all football fans to take a phone, pillow and 15 minutes to learn CPR at half-time only. Find out more on the charity’s website.
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