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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 29 November 2020

This eye-catching video might seem funny, but its message will save lives

All you have to do is remember two simple things.

Image: Irish Heart Foundation

Source: Irish Heart Foundation/YouTube

IF YOU’RE HAVING a cardiac arrest, CPR can be literally the difference between life and death. 

That’s the message behind a new campaign by the Irish Heart Foundation, which trains tens of thousands of people a year in CPR. 

“In 2018, 176 people survived a cardiac arrest because of the actions of someone who knew CPR,” says Brigid Sinnott, Resuscitation Manager with the charity. “If an extra 100,000 people learn CPR, we could potentially save an extra 60 lives a year on average.”

But with Covid-19 restrictions now in place, traditional training programmes have been suspended – forcing the organisation to come up with a new approach to raising awareness.

Source: Irish Heart Foundation

Meet their new animated character: Manny Quinn, a “former training manikin and CPR expert turned Broadway singer”, who stars in an eye-catching musical video. 

The video was launched to mark national Restart A Heart Day on October 16, and was developed with the support of healthcare company Abbott and ESB Networks. In it, Manny vaults from storage shelf to Broadway theatre stage, singing a song about the two essential steps when performing CPR:

  1. Call 112 or 999 for an ambulance
  2. Push hard and fast in the centre of the chest

Source: Irish Heart Foundation

It’s a simple message, but one that could make all the difference. “Thousands of people die every year in Ireland from cardiac arrest and approximately 70% of those happen at home in front of a loved one,” says Brigid.

“If someone who knows CPR can start performing compressions quickly they can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival.”

‘There was nothing else I could have done’

One man who appreciates the value of CPR is Colm Costigan, a consultant at Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

He was out for a bike ride with his daughter Caoimhe – who also happens to be a doctor – in August 2018, in rural Co Tipperary, when he collapsed.

unnamed Colm Costigan with his daughter Caoimhe. Source: Irish Heart Foundation

Caoimhe immediately called 999 and started CPR, only pausing briefly to run to a nearby house to ask somebody to give directions to the emergency services.

Emergency services were able to resuscitate him with a defibrillator. Colm then had a stent inserted in Limerick University Hospital, followed by months of recovery.

Caoimhe believes that anyone can do what she did for her dad, and that her medical training was not a factor.

“I didn’t do any doctoring at the side of the road – it was because I knew CPR. There was literally nothing else I could have done,” she said.

As Manny Quinn says: If you are with someone who needs CPR, call 999 or 112, then push hard and fast in the centre of the chest. To find out more about CPR, visit IrishHeart.ie. This campaign is supported by Abbott and ESB Networks

Sponsored by:

Irish Heart Foundation

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