Lancaster University: Lancaster medical students teach the public how to Restart a Heart

Lancaster medical students have trained over 240 people in CPR both on campus and also at Preston North End’s football match.

“Restart a Heart” is an international initiative, run in the UK by the Resuscitation Council UK, the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, NHS Ambulance Service and Saving Lives for Scotland, which involves teaching CPR techniques to the general public.

The Lancaster medical students taught resuscitation techniques to members of the public at different events. The first was at the campus open day and involved teaching prospective students and their accompanying visitors.

The second event was before the Preston North End home game against Derby County at Deepdale football ground.

Medical student Josh Kirk said: “We trained fans from both teams including a lot of children that were coming to the match with their parents. We also trained the club mascot the “Deepdale duck”.”

Holding various sessions over the course of the Restart a Heart weekend meant the medical students trained a variety of ages from young children to their grandparents. In total about 25 student volunteers trained over 240 people.

Dr Cliff Shelton, consultant anaesthetist and director of simulation and clinical skills at Lancaster Medical School, said: “Survival following cardiac arrest depends on early and effective CPR, and if required, prompt defibrillation. Because most cardiac arrests happen away from hospitals, it is very important that members of the public know what to do if they witness a cardiac arrest.

“Our students have done a fantastic job of teaching CPR and raising awareness of automated defibrillators as part of the international Restart A Heart campaign. We at Lancaster Medical School are delighted to have been able to support this work by helping our students to develop their teaching skills, and providing training equipment for use at community events.”

Dr Lisa Ashmore, Associate Dean for Engagement in the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University said: “It is fantastic to see the contribution Lancaster medical students are making in our local communities. By taking their expertise and enthusiasm out of the clinic and the classroom, the students are making a real impact. Many of our students commit to volunteering locally during their time at University and we are incredibly proud of them for this.”

The event was organised by the student run Lancaster University Wilderness and Emergency Medicine Society (LUWEMS) which aims to repeat it each year.

Josh Kirk said: “The success of the events has also led to invitations to participate in more events in the future including open days, Light Up Lancaster and the Christmas markets. We were also asked to return and run training sessions at some of the university sports clubs when we did our event on campus.”

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