Pupils are being taught life-saving resuscitation skills in schools through a programme which aims to help save the lives of people having a cardiac arrest out of hospital.
The Heartstart programme, delivered by British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland, sees pupils from across Scotland undergoing Emergency Life Support (ELS) training to ensure they have the key set of life-saving actions needed to keep someone alive until professional help arrives.
The Scottish Government has provided funding of £110,000 to help the BHF roll-out the programme across 40 secondary schools in five local education areas.
It is primarily offered to secondary school children but primary school children can also get involved.
Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: “Teaching these life-saving skills at school is a highly effective way to ensure our young people have the kind of skills and knowledge you need to help people survive a cardiac arrest out-of-hospital. This is the kind of knowledge that can last a lifetime, and at any time, could be put to incredibly important use.
“Through Heartstart, it is our hope that every young person should be able demonstrate, in a way that is appropriate to their level, how to keep themselves and others safe and how to respond in emergency situations.
“ELS skills can be easily taught and approximately 50 per cent of Scottish schools are already engaged. But it is vital to increase the numbers trained because teaching pupils in school provides them with early training that could one day save lives.”
Director of BHF Scotland Marjory Burns said: “When someone has a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival decrease with each passing minute. Every second really does count. That’s why it’s vital that as many people as possible know how to perform CPR.
“Teaching simple emergency life support skills in schools puts more lifesavers on our streets and will save more lives in the future.”