The London Ambulance Service has backed a British Heart Foundation campaign encouraging members of the public to use chest compressions, but not mouth-to-mouth, if they witness a cardiac arrest.
LAS First Responders Manager Chris Hartley-Sharpe said: “We fully support this campaign encouraging people to call 999 and start chest compressions immediately if they see someone collapse and stop breathing.
“By carrying out cardiopulmonary resuscitation while an ambulance is on the way you can double someone’s chances of survival from a cardiac arrest, even if you don’t perform mouth to mouth.
“Thanks to the hard work of our staff more Londoners than ever are surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but bystanders only attempt lifesaving intervention before ambulance crews arrive 37 per cent of the time, according to our latest figures.
“Getting a defibrillator, a machine that can restart the heart by delivering an electric shock, to someone quickly if they’re suffering a cardiac arrest will also greatly increase their chances of survival.”
“We now have a team of dedicated paramedics funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) who are working in the community to teach people Heartstart, a simple life-saving course.”
An advert featuring footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, encourages members of the public to call 999 and use chest compressions if they witness a cardiac arrest, but to forget mouth to mouth.