An A&E doctor at Calderdale Royal Hospital has teamed up with cardiac arrest survivor Fabrice Muamba for a national campaign.
A&E consultant Andy Lockey joined the former Bolton player at No 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition calling for all schoolchildren to be trained in CPR.
Fabrice, 24, collapsed on the field during a game against Spurs earlier this year and only pulled through after he was given cardiac massage on the pitch.
Now retired, he is supporting the campaign by the Resuscitation Council and the British Heart Foundation asking the Government for every schoolchild to receive two hours’ training a year in resuscitation.
Dr Lockey, the Trust’s director of medical education and honorary secretary of the Resuscitation Council, said: “It was a pleasure to be at No 10 with Fabrice. He is very humble and quiet. He was fortunate to be surrounded by people who knew the right thing to do when he collapsed in that football match and because of that he is still alive and passionately supports the call to add emergency life support skills tuitions to be added to the school curriculum.”
The Resuscitation Council says the UK is falling behind other countries where all schoolchildren are taught these skills.
For example, in Seattle, USA, they have been teaching children for over 32 years and they have double the survival rates of the UK. More than half their population is trained in life support.
Dr Lockey said: “We learnt from our successful local project about teaching the importance of using seatbelts that children are always ready to learn. They have no pre-learning and, in school, are a captive audience where they can all be taught to pick up the essentials. In the long term it means more people who can save lives when asked and that is just brilliant.”
Dr Lockey and Fabrice handed in a petition signed by over 100,000 people – packed into children’s schoolbags – in the hope it will persuade the Government to make life saving skills part of the curriculum.
Dr Lockey is also looking at ways that we can ensure all local children can be taught these skills and is in the process of contacting all secondary schools in Calderdale to help make this a reality.