Birmingham students boost life-saving training at V Festival sites

#VShocks project team from The University of Birmingham ready for action at V Festival – Hylands Park, in Essex.

Students from the University of Birmingham taught life-saving CPR techniques to more than 2000 festival-goers at this year’s V Festival – both in Essex and in Staffordshire.

The ‘#VShocks’ team raised awareness of CPR’s importance to more than 4,000 people enjoying the music at Hylands Park, in Essex, and Weston Park, in Staffordshire.

The medical students built on their initial success at last year’s V Festival at Weston Park by taking training to the masses at the event.

Axie Finch, medical student and #VShocks project student lead at Hylands Park alongside Maria Zioupos, said: "I feel enormously privileged to have worked with such an inspirational team - on countless occasions people came up to us to applaud and thank us for the work we were doing.

“We were also greeted by upcoming undergraduates to the University of Birmingham, alumni, medical students from other universities and artists performing at V Festival. One of the most inspirational moments was when we were applauded by a police officer working during the London attacks this summer, who came over to say what fantastic work we were doing and how important the awareness and skill of CPR was.

“A married couple shared their story of how the husband had in-fact suffered cardiac arrest at home just a year ago and it was due to CPR delivered by his wife, that he was alive. For me, this story alone makes all our efforts worthwhile.”

Axie added that throughout the weekend the #VShocks team had received positive feedback from V festival staff with talk of the project returning to V Festival in 2018.

As in 2016, V Festival staff attended a CPR teaching session and had already remarked to the #VShocks team how important it is to 'learn such a vital skill that could make a difference to someone’s life'.

CPR is delivered when a person has a cardiac arrest, becomes unconscious and stops breathing.  Each year approximately 60,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting in the UK. Currently fewer than one in ten people survive.

A significant reason behind the poor survival statistic is that the UK has a low rate of bystander CPR – where a member of the public starts CPR before the emergency services arrive. This delay in CPR reduces the chance that the person will be successfully resuscitated. For each minute delay in delivering CPR and defibrillation to a person in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival reduces by 10%.

The key to improving bystander CPR rate is to equip the public with the skills needed to perform CPR and to ensure they are confident to use them.

Resuscitation for Medical Disciplines (RMD) is a University of Birmingham-affiliated organisation dedicated to CPR education. RMD train senior healthcare students to teach CPR to 750 university students each year.

The ‘#VShocks’ team started out at the 2016 V-Festival at Weston Park, in Staffordshire where taught over 1500 people CPR and raising awareness to over 3000. This year’s Weston Park initiative was organised by Elizabeth McGeorge and together led with Saskia van Dijk. Overall the project was supervised by Andrew Owen and Joe Alderman.

ENDS

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