Football legend Graeme Souness has urged all football fans to learn CPR – as a survey revealed that over half of Brits don't know how to perform the life-saving procedure.
The 69-year-old former Liverpool FC team captain, who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease aged 38, and suffered a heart attack in 2015, has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to mark National Heart Month.
The charity commissioned a survey of 2,000 adults, which revealed that nearly half of Brits know someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest, and one in five have been in a situation where they needed to perform CPR.
But shockingly, 45% admitted they would not be able to spot the signs of a cardiac arrest.
And after footballer Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in the middle of a match at the Euro 2020 tournament, nine out of ten football fans revealed they were keen to learn CPR.
The BHF research revealed that there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year – but less than one in 10 people survive.
Early CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.
Footballer-turned-pundit, Souness, recently surprised Tooting & Mitcham United FC to put players through their paces with a pitch-side CPR training session, using the BHF’s free online tool, RevivR.
As part of the training, shin pads provided by the BHF were handed out to the players, which included simple CPR instructions for those having to administer CPR under pressure.
The shin pads are part of a trial by the British Heart Foundation that could be rolled out nationwide.
Graeme Souness, a long-standing ambassador for the charity, said: “If every football fan across the UK did the 15-minute session to learn CPR, it could be a game-changer for survival rates.
“CPR is a game-changer, and could be the most important lesson you ever learn.
“With RevivR, in just 15 minutes – the length of half-time – you will have the skills to save a life.
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“Every fan in every football club across the country can make a difference – so please join the BHF today, and let’s unite to create a new team of lifesavers.”
Graeme also recounted to the team his own experience of coronary heart disease, after the diagnosis left him feeling “how could this happen to me?”.
Whilst managing Liverpool FC, the football star went on to have a triple heart bypass in what he describes as an “extremely vulnerable” experience.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at British Heart Foundation, said: “As a nation of football lovers, we’re delighted to have the support of legend of the game, Graeme Souness, to encourage fans to learn lifesaving CPR.
“A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any age. If every fan in the country took the 15 minutes it takes to learn CPR with RevivR, it could mean the difference between life and death.”
RevivR means anyone can learn CPR – and all that is needed is a mobile phone and a cushion.
It teaches how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions, and outlines the correct steps of using a defibrillator – giving anyone the confidence to help in the ultimate medical emergency.
The BHF is now urging all football fans to grab a phone, cushion, and 15 minutes to learn CPR in just the length of half-time. For more information on RevivR, visit here.
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