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Pupils taught basic life-support by staff from Southampton General Hospital’s Emergency Department

Posted on: 25 Oct 2017

 

Dr Ursula Hartley and her team from the Emergency Department at Southampton General Hospital recently visited Sherborne House School in Chandler’s Ford to teach basic life-support to children and staff. The event formed part of the celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of The Royal College of Emergency Medicine involving an attempt to set a record for the most people learning CPR in two hours.

Cardiac arrest is a very real issue in schools.  According to The Resuscitation Council (UK), 270 children die every year of sudden cardiac arrest at school, and four of every five cardiac arrests that happen out of hospitals occur in the home, but often nobody starts CPR because they don’t know what to do.

As part of the visit, all children – aged between 3 and 11 – were taught CPR using dummies for the older children and teddies for the 3 to 5 year olds.  The medical team showed the children how to do compressions to the sound of the Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive – providing a memorable experience whilst conveying an important message.

Commenting on the visit, Dr Ursula Hartley, Specialty Doctor in Emergency Medicine at Southampton General Hospital, said: “When faced with a collapsed person, our aim is for the children and staff to be confident and competent to intervene and, whenever possible, save a life. The event was a great success and, in addition to teaching basic life-support, I hope we have inspired some aspiring medics into our wonderful specialty.”

Heather Hopson-Hill, Headteacher at Sherborne House School, said: “First aid has always been given high priority at Sherborne House School.  It is impossible to put a value on a life and therefore, as a school, we make it our responsibility to ensure that the entire school community has at least a basic awareness of first aid.

We would like to sincerely thank Dr Hartley and her wonderful volunteers for taking the time to visit our school, some of whom had visited our school immediately after a night shift at the hospital- and I have no doubt that the valuable knowledge the children and staff have gained will help save future lives.”

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