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    CPR training could save 3,000 lives a year in Belgium

    In Europe approximately 400,000 people die every year due to cardiac arrest.   Ten thousand of these deaths occur in Belgium. According to the Belgian Resuscitation Council (BRC) simple steps could be taken to prevent 30% of these deaths. The BRC would like to see CPR training implemented in schools.   On October 16th, the BRC will also co-host the second edition of “Restart a Heart” on the occasion of the European Raising Cardiac Arrest Day. “According to a recent survey, 47% of Belgians do not feel they are able to intervene during a cardiac arrest, 58% do not know the 112 emergency number, 94% would not  have the courage to start chest compressions and 76% say they  would not dare use an automated external defibrillator, ” reported the BRC.

    A large majority of heart attacks occur outside a hospital setting and “cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by a witness or bystander increases the chances of survival by two or three,” the BRC. According to Dr. Freddy Van de Casseye, “If bystanders intervened and administered CPR to 60% of people in cardiac arrest it would save at least 3,000 lives in Belgium alone.”

    For the BRC, achieving this goal is simple: make resuscitation training mandatory in schools. A petition to this effect, launched in mid-August, has already collected 2,395 signatures.   

    Meanwhile, on October 16th, the Council and the Belgian Cardiological League will host the second edition of “Restart a Heart” at the Brussels Central Station. With the theme “Your hands can save lives”, this event will aim to sensitize and educate the public about life-saving techniques.

    Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)