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Vinnie Jones saves 28 lives

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

19th November 2012 - The British Heart Foundation says 28 lives have been saved with hands-only CPR since the launch early this year of the Vinnie Jones 'Stayin' Alive' campaign.

The advert told have-a-go-heroes to give the kiss of life a miss in favour of hard and fast chest compressions to the beat of Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees. Now it's been updated to not only include the Hollywood hard man but also people whose lives have been saved by the technique.

However, the charity says cardiac arrest survival rates in England are still dire and if they are to improve more bystanders need to help by doing CPR.

Hands-only CPR ( cardio- pulmonary resuscitation) means ringing 999 and performing chest compressions 5-6cm (about three inches) deep at 100-120 compressions per minute until emergency help arrives or the person regains consciousness.

Vinnie Jones says in a press statement: "Dozens of Brits are alive today because of Hands-only CPR - and that's only the people we know about. But still not enough of us survive a cardiac arrest and it's seriously important that everyone knows hard and fast chest compressions to the beat of the Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees can be the difference between life and death."

Depressing figures

A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. A casualty will be unresponsive and won't be breathing normally. Immediate CPR and defibrillation is needed for a casualty to have any chance of survival. A cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.

The BHF says new stats show out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in England are depressingly low with only one in five people (20%) surviving.

In Seattle in the US, where over half of the population are now trained in CPR, survival rates stand at 52%. Within some parts of Norway where CPR is part of the school curriculum, survival from witnessed shockable cardiac arrest is also as high as 52%.

As well as its new ad the BHF is releasing a new training film and mobile app, starring Mini Vinnie, to help promote hands-only CPR among the next generation of life-savers.

No special skills needed

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, wants more survivors. In a press statement he says: "Many people can survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest but only if they receive immediate CPR.

"Sadly, in the vast majority of cases in the UK this doesn't happen. We know hands-only CPR works but more bystanders need to step in if we're ever to see the majority become the minority.

"The great thing about Hands-only CPR is you don't need any special skills or to remember how to do the kiss of life. It's simple, you can't do any harm and you may well save a life. We know of at least 28 people who are alive today simply because the person standing next to them when they collapsed did what Vinnie told them to do in our advert."

Alan Linton, a survivor from Ladybank, Scotland, who appears in one of the new ads says in a press release: "To put it simply, I'm here today because of Vinnie Jones, the Bee Gees and hands-only CPR. It must have been a frightening moment for my golfing buddies to see me collapse and stop breathing but thankfully they remembered hard and fast chest compressions. I'm now one of the few people in the UK who has survived a cardiac arrest this year."

Reviewed on November 19, 2012

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