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Publication date:- 2017-14-10

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 6.

86% of people in the North West would be reluctant to perform CPR on cardiac arrest victims

86% of people surveyed in the North West would be reluctant to perform CPR on cardiac arrest victims, according to latest statistics from the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The BHF warns that a lack of public knowledge of CPR could be costing lives as new research from the University of Warwick also finds that those who have been trained in CPR are three times more likely to perform it. The main reasons for reluctance to step in were fear of causing more harm than good (48%) and lacking the skills and knowledge to perform CPR (40%). But experts warn that the benefits of performing CPR far outweigh the risks, as survival rates are almost zero if people collapse and get no support until paramedics arrive. There are over 30,000 out of Hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, and devastatingly less than 1 in 10 survive. But according to the BHF, if survival rates matched those reported in Norway, where CPR is taught more widely, as many as 5,000 lives could be saved. Every minute without CPR or defibrillation can reduce a person's chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10%.

A survey of people in the North West found:-

► Only 43% would feel confident giving CPR to a stranger.

► By contrast, 74% would offer a stranger a seat on the bus, and 82% would give directions to a stranger.

► Just 22% were able to identify the 2 signs of a cardiac arrest, which are when someone is not breathing or not breathing normally, and that they have collapsed and are unresponsive.

► The worrying figures have been released for Restart A Heart Day; an annual day to increase awareness of the importance of CPR.

The BHF, Resuscitation Council (UK), St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and all the UK NHS ambulance services along with Fire and Rescue services are working together to train more than 150,000 young people across the UK in the largest ever CPR training event of its kind.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:- "CPR may be the difference between life and death for hundreds of people every year in the North West who suffer a cardiac arrest. Every second counts, and it simply isn't enough to hope that someone who knows CPR is present.  We need everyone in the North West to learn this life saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and give CPR when someone collapses after a cardiac arrest. That's why we are urging Secondary Schools across the UK to apply for our free training kits and help create a Nation of Lifesavers."

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:- "I am delighted to be part of this year's Restart a Heart Day and look forward to learning CPR alongside Greater Manchester School children while supporting the European campaign. The more people that are trained in giving CPR and feel confident to step in and help someone suffering from a cardiac arrest the better and it's thanks to the likes of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service that even more people will today become life-savers, including myself."

David McNally, Community Engagement and Resuscitation Manager at NWAS, said:- "Cardiac arrest kills people and the power to change this lies within our communities. Knowing what to do in an extreme emergency situation cannot be underestimated. CPR skills are so simple to learn and they absolutely do save lives. We are targeting Secondary Schools because children pick up new skills with ease and can take them into adult life."

To help the BHF create a Nation of Lifesavers, or find out how you can teach CPR in your School, workplace or community group visit:- BHF.Org.UK/CPR.


Communities unite for litter picking campaign

AN army of volunteers of all ages will be on the streets and open spaces of Wirral in a concerted clean up campaign. More than 20 community litter picks will be taking until Friday, 20 October 2017, as Wirral residents demonstrate how much they:- 'Love Where They Live.'  The 'Love Where You Live' campaign encourages local people to team up and clean up their communities. Wirral Council are backing the series of activities next week by co-ordinating the planned litter picks, providing litter picking kits to those who need it and arranging for Biffa to take away the full bags of rubbish at the end of each litter pick. The week of activity is following on from the regular litter picks organised by existing environmental groups such as the New Brighteners and the High Tidiers. A number of local Schools and residents groups are also organising litter picks in their area, as well as a number of charities. Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Environment, said:- "It is excellent to see so many individuals and groups committed to making their community as clean as it can be, their efforts are an invaluable contribution to our pledge to create a cleaner local environment and I'd like to thank everyone who has already signed up to support the week of action."  The week will culminate with a celebration event for everyone who takes part, at Birkenhead Town Hall, on Friday, 20 October 2017, between 1pm and 3pm. Throughout the week of activity, groups will be providing photos and updates of their work which will be posted on Wirral Council social media channels.


Flu campaign gets underway in Liverpool

LIVERPOOL is launching its annual flu campaign; with a particular emphasis on encouraging pregnant women and toddlers to get the vaccine. Free vaccinations are available to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 8, residents with health conditions including chest or heart ailments, those aged 65 and over and carers of older or disabled people. This year there is a special focus on mums to be and toddlers, as take up rates have historically not been as high as for other groups that are eligible for the vaccination. In 2016 just 44% of expectant women got a jab, leaving them at risk of getting flu during their pregnancy and complications such as pneumonia and premature birth. Awareness and take up is also lower for younger children; only 1 in 3 of those aged 2 to 3 had the nasal spray vaccine, which is far lower than the 60% of children who receive it through their Primary School. This year, all Primary School children from reception to year 4 will be offered the vaccine at School.

Councillor Paul Brant, Cabinet member for adult health, said:- "We want to keep people well over the winter and out of Hospital, and the vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause misery for the whole family and in some cases can be a killer. Flu can lay you low for months and is easily avoidable for those who are eligible for the free vaccine, particularly those who are most vulnerable such as pregnant women, young children, over 65s, those with long term health conditions and their carers. It is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can affect and cause misery for the whole family, and in some cases can sadly be a killer.  If you have a long term health condition, like bronchitis, diabetes, heart kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke, the effects of flu can make it worse and you could end up in Hospital; even if your condition is well managed and you normally feel well.  We're particularly keen to get the message across to pregnant women that the flu vaccine is important to protect them and their baby, and is safe for pregnant women at any time in pregnancy. Pregnancy naturally weakens the body's immune system and the vaccine reduces the risk of complications like premature birth and pneumonia. I encourage everyone who is eligible to contact your GP or pharmacist now to get vaccinated. It is vital because it protects against different strains of flu which change every year."

The drive is being backed by midwives at the Liverpool Women's Hospital and Councillors; including 1 who is pregnant and another who was off work for 3 months after coming down with flu.

Jenny Butters, Matron at Liverpool Women's Hospital said:- "It is extremely important that we get the message across to pregnant women about the importance of flu vaccination. The vaccine reduces the risk of complications of flu like premature birth and pneumonia and I encourage all pregnant women to get vaccinated. You can safely have the flu vaccine at any time in pregnancy to protect you and your baby, and it also helps to protect babies from flu in their first few months of life."

Councillor Michelle Corrigan is expecting her 1st baby in October and has recently had her flu injection. She said:- "I wanted to make sure that both myself and the baby are fully protected. I want to have the healthiest pregnancy I can and not put either of us at risk by getting flu. The 1st few months can be exhausting and I also wanted an assurance that I didn't get the virus while I am a new mum. Getting the jab was quick and easy and I can now rest easy."

Flu can be horrible for little children and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. The vaccine is available as a free nasal spray for young children. If you have a child aged 2 or 3, you can contact your GP now to get the vaccine. Your child will get a quick spray up each nostril and it is an easy way to protect him or her from flu and stop flu spreading around the family as well.  The vaccine is being offered in all Schools to children in reception class and years:- 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Councillor Richard Wenstone is a Consultant in critical care at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and has 1st hand experience of how serious flu can be. He was seriously ill with flu in 1995 and was off work for three months as a result. He said:- "I got flu and was off work for a few days, but didn't properly recover from it. I was later diagnosed with low platelets which meant my blood wasn't clotting properly and put simply I could have bled to death if I hadn't received treatment. I was off work and on medication for 3 months as a result. The fact it happened to me when I was pretty fit and healthy shows that it could happen to anyone, and so I would urge anyone who is eligible for a free vaccine to get one because it could end up saving their life. Through my work at the Royal, I see lots of people ending up in intensive care with flu and it could easily be prevented if they had gone for the vaccine."

People are seven times more likely to die from flu if they have chronic bronchitis, emphysema or asthma; 11 times more at risk of death if they have heart disease or angina and 48 times more likely to die if they have chronic liver disease. For further information on the flu vaccination, please contact your GP surgery or a local pharmacy. Alternatively visit:- NHS.UK/Flu.

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