Colin McGrath MLA (South Down)

The Member’s Position:

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is most commonly referred to as 'CPR'. It is a procedure which can be administered by anyone and is given to someone who is in cardiac arrest. It helps to pump blood around the person's body when their heart can't.

Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a defibrillator shock are vital to a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.  Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of survival by up to ten per cent.

In Northern Ireland there are around 1,400 cardiac arrests a year that take place outside of hospital.  Less than one in ten survive to be discharged from hospital - this rate lags behind those of other developed nations.

After Denmark introduced compulsory CPR lessons for pupils in 2005, its cardiac arrest survival rates tripled, and now 1 in 4 people in Denmark who have a cardiac arrest will survive.

Making CPR training and AED awareness a compulsory element of a child’s learning in school would help ensure that every child leaves school knowing how to save a life, empowering them to become responsible citizens.

Most episodes (around 80%) of Out-of-Hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home, highlighting the potential benefit of family members being trained in CPR.  Teaching children this life saving skill also has a multiplier effect with children often sharing their knowledge with family members and peers.

Colin McGrath MLA (SDLP) proposes the introduction of a bill that would enshrine in law that every young person of compulsory school age, between Year 8 and Year 12, is taught how to perform CPR and is trained with an awareness of AEDs in order to improve survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrest.

He is seeking the views of interested stakeholders; particularly children (please ensure you have your parent/guardian’s consent), their parents/guardians and school staff.  The questions in this consultation are intended to gather public views to better inform and improve legislation to educate and increase awareness which will ultimately save lives.

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* 1. Are you responding as:

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* 2. Which of the following best describes you?

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* 3. Are you aware of the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack?

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* 4. A heart attack is not the same as a cardiac arrest. A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply and, if left untreated, will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen. A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing normally. Are you aware that currently, less than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Northern Ireland?

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* 5. What best describes how you feel about the statistic that currently less than than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Northern Ireland?

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* 6. Do you want to be a part of changing that statistic?

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* 7. If someone went into cardiac arrest near you in public, would you be confident enough to administer CPR or an AED?

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* 8. Have you ever been trained in CPR and/or AED awareness?

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* 9. If you have answered yes, where did you receive your CPR training and AED awareness? (Please tick all that apply)

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* 10. Have you ever had to perform CPR or use an AED?

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* 11. Do you agree that the outcome of this bill will be increased awareness of CPR and AEDs and to save lives?

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* 12. How important do you think it is for young people to have knowledge of CPR skills and awareness of AEDs by the time they leave primary education?

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* 13. How important do you think it is for young people to have knowledge of CPR skills and AEDs by the time they leave post-primary education?

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* 14. Do you believe that such training should be a one-off event or form part of a wider curriculum in healthcare?

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* 15. What level of time do you think should be given over to such training?

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* 16. How often do you think young people in post-primary education should receive CPR and AED awareness training?

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* 17. Do you think CPR and AED awareness training should be compulsory for all pupils in Year 8-12?

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* 18. Who do you think would be best placed to deliver CPR training and AED awareness?

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* 19. To what extent do you agree with CPR training and AED awareness training taking place outside of school hours?

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* 20. To what extent do you think such training would have an effect on you/your child/your pupil’s education and opportunities in life?

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* 21. Do you believe our Government has a responsibility to ensure such training is provided?

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* 22. Do you believe training in CPR and awareness of AEDs are as important as academic subjects?

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* 23. Please detail any other comments you may have.

Thank you for completing this survey.  If you have any queries or would like to be kept up to date with this Bill or other issues please contact:
colin.mcgrath@mla.niassembly.gov.uk

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