More than 60,000 people in Scotland have been given life-saving CPR training in the last 12 months.
The training comes as part of an unprecedented national collaboration of more than a dozen organisations including emergency services, defence and third sector to improve response to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
The figure was published today in a Scottish Government report reviewing progress in the first year of Scotland’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy.
The five-year strategy aims to save 1,000 extra lives by 2020 and equip an additional half a million people in Scotland with CPR skills.
Minister for Public Health, Aileen Campbell, said: “Each year in Scotland there are around 3,000 cardiac arrests out-of-hospital. Cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart completely stops and, if this happens, CPR must be administered within minutes or the person will likely die.
“That is why CPR training and education is so vitally important. Indeed we know that over three-quarters of people believe that everyone should be trained in CPR, although only half of people have had the training.
“Our strategy aims to equip as many people as possible with these life-saving skills as well as looking at how our healthcare and emergency services can support a rapid and effective response to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
“Over the last year some very promising progress has been made. This is thanks, in no small part, to the great efforts of all of our partners involved in this work. We are now looking to build on these solid foundations going in to next year, with a focus in 2017 on raising awareness amongst young people about the importance of CPR.”
The report, Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest – A Strategy for Scotland Review 2015-16, details a series of key results achieved in the strategy’s first year as well as setting out the priorities for 2017.
The key achievements include the training of over 60,000 people in CPR skills since the strategy launched in October 2015; The British Heart Foundation supplied ‘Call-Push-Rescue’ training kits to all 356 Scottish Fire and Rescue stations. And in November 2015, the Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service began trialling a co-response system for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at ten stations.
Actions in 2017 include the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service trialling an initiative in three pilot areas across Scotland to provide information on how to assist someone experiencing an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during Home Fire Safety Visits.
There are also plans to train more young people in CPR.