The Health Minister Simon Hamilton has announced an investment of £250,000 per year to promote community resuscitation across Northern Ireland.
The new money from the Transformation Fund will be used to set up a regional team of Community Resuscitation Development Officers.
Commenting on the new investment the Minister said “CPR and early defibrillation are the two critical interventions to enable a person to survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Carrying out early CPR can double a casualty’s chances of survival.
“My department’s Community Resuscitation Strategy, the first in the UK, is designed to promote collaboration between Health and Social Care and the voluntary and private sectors to improve survival rates.”
Each year in Northern Ireland about 1,400 people suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and only 10% of them survive. The key is swift action by bystanders: recognising that a cardiac arrest is happening; performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation - CPR; using a defibrillator and keeping the person alive until an ambulance gets there.
He added: “We need to raise awareness, increase the number of people with CPR training and encourage members of the public to intervene in the event of a cardiac arrest. I would encourage everyone to take the time to learn CPR... you never know when someone will need you.”