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Welcome to the Health Defence Blog - a blog about health, wellness and a healthier you. Brought to you by the Health Defence team at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, you'll find up-to-date information on a range of topics from what's in your food to the latest advice on e-cigarettes!


Megan - Health Promotion Specialist

August 20, 2017

We spend much of our lives at work and with our colleagues. But are your colleagues trained in CPR if the unthinkable should happen? Approximately 3,500 people undergo attempted resuscitation each year in Scotland, but only 1 in 20 survive. By knowing how to do CPR, you could increase the chances of saving a life.

“Starting CPR saves lives, at least doubling the chances of survival” (Save A Life For Scotland)

Here, Eric* tells us his story of how his workmate saved his life:

I can’t remember anything about that day; all I remember is the night before playing about with my new phone. I then woke up 2 days later in intensive care. I work for a large electronics company. My friend that I work with said that I bent down to fix a piece of equipment and just fell over; they all thought I was messing about at first. When my pal realised that I was not breathing he started CPR, shouted for someone to call an ambulance and get the nurse who brought a defibrillator. My pal had never done CPR but learned about it when he was a boy in the Scouts. Before it happened I had felt absolutely normal, joking and laughing… I had just had lunch. The first aider and occupational health nurse then arrived. The paramedics arrived shortly after and attended to me, they used the defibrillator which the nurse had just brought.

*Name changed to protect identity

What is a cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. It occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, causing the person to collapse, become unconscious, and stop breathing or stop breathing normally.

A cardiac arrest can affect people of all ages at anytime or anywhere.

What is CPR and how to do CPR?

CPR stands for cardio pulmonary resuscitation. CPR should be performed when someone has collapsed and is not breathing.

Chest compressions mimic the pumping action of the heart pushing (circulating) blood around the body. CPR can keep people alive until emergency services arrive.

Watch this step-by-step guide on what you can do to help save a life:

Remember the basic rules of CPR by following the “DR’S ABC” described in the video. Download your copy of the card here.

Worried about giving CPR? …Don’t panic. This video explores the concerns you may face when someone needs your help and how to overcome them:

Learning CPR is easy, saying ‘I’ll do it’ is the hard part.

Why you and your colleagues need to learn CPR

For every minute that CPR is not performed the chances of someone surviving decreases by 10%. This means that only 1 in 20 people in Scotland who experience cardiac arrest in Scotland will survive to go home to their loved ones.

Eric’s life was saved due to the quick thinking from his workmate and starting CPR.

Support for you and your loved ones

If you or your loved ones need support, please phone the CHSS Advice Line Nurses on Freephone 0808 801 0899. We are here to help.

Life After Cardiac Arrest: a resource to help people in Scotland who have survived an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), their families and anyone who has suffered a close family bereavement as a result. Visit:

Learn and share CPR

Want to know more about CPR and how to get involved in Scotland? Visit Save a Life for Scotland.

***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.

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