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5 minutes to save a life

On Tuesday 16th October is  Restart-a-Heart day. Only 1 in 10 survive a cardiac arrest

Nitin Makadia

But let’s not just leave it to young people. We all have a responsibility to learn the basics of CPR and understand how easy it is to use a public-access defibrillator…then refresh our knowledge each year. It really takes very little time and one day you may just save a life.

So, if you were ever in a situation where someone was having a cardiac arrest, would you know what to do?…Because every minute of hesitation significantly reduces that person’s chances of survival.

The 3 critical things to do…

1. Call 999

2. Begin CPR

3. Use a defibrillator if one is available

And just because somebody else has started to take action, don’t assume they won’t need your help. They may need you to call 999 whilst they start CPR, they may need you to locate a public access defibrillator, or they may need you to take over giving CPR if they become exhausted. So…make sure you know what you can do to help.


Even if you’ve not had any formal training, hands-only CPR…without rescue breaths (‘mouth-to-mouth’)…is all that’s needed. A quick guide to how this is done is demonstrated by Vinny Jones in British Hearth Foundation’s video, Vinnie Jones’ hard and fast Hands-only CPR

Alternatively, or even in addition to this, why not download the smartphone teaching App, available on both Android or iPhone?

Public Access Defibrillator

You’ve probably seen these in public areas such as shopping centres. They are there to be used by members of the public in an emergency and require no training.

Whilst defibrillators may look a little different, they all work pretty much in a similar semi-automatic way. Usually there will be a built-in voice giving step-by-step instructions. And they are also clever enough to detect any heart rhythm and will only switch on if there is a genuine need, so there is no risk of using it on someone who’s heart function has already re-started.

Whilst they are automatic and easy to use, it’s probably a good idea to see how they work so you’re not daunted if you were to need to use one.

The British Hearth Foundation have a very good video here

So act today. Less than 5 minutes to watch the 2 videos is all it can take to save someone’s life

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