Janet's Column: We should all learn CPR

  Posted: 19.02.21 at 16:31 by The Editor

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Janet Finch-Saunders is the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy, representing your views and our area as a member of the official opposition in the Shadow Cabinet. Janet writes a fortnightly post for Conwy Nub News.

We’ve reached an important turning point in the history of this pandemic. This week, our local health board reported that they have either vaccinated or offered an appointment to all the first four priority groups.

This vaccination roll-out programme is a true community success story that underscores the importance of Wales working with its partners across the United Kingdom. Our brilliant Coronavirus responders are a true testament to their profession. From the cleaners and desk clerks, the cooks and backroom staff; to our frontline health staff, armed forces, caregivers and volunteers, the effort on a local level has rightly placed community spirit at the fore.

As of February 14, 184,923 people in North Wales had received their first COVID-19 vaccination. The number of vaccines administered to individuals in the top four priority cohorts was 159,621, and last week (February 7-14), 41,548 received their first vaccination.

Of course, we should be in no doubt that a long road remains ahead of us, with second doses still to be administered to those individuals most at risk and over three quarters of the population now requiring their first jab. But this is rightly a significant milestone for local residents, as we look to recover from the pandemic and build back better for North Wales.

Outside of their everyday duties, our local caregivers have also been doubling down on medical education through some innovative online videos. This week, the Awyr Las/North Wales NHS charity released a new lesson in conjunction with their 'Keep the Beats' initiative. The video brilliantly encourages residents to practice CPR in the safety of their own home, by using common household items such as balls, cushions and teddy bears.

I am firmly of the belief that everybody in Wales should learn CPR skills so that they are confident of the steps they need to take when a person has a cardiac arrest. By taking a few minutes to learn some basic CPR skills, you can increase someone’s chance of survival, in what can be a very stressful situation.

Early data suggests that, in the BCUHB region, 75% of people who have a cardiac arrest do not receive CPR before medical help arrives. Every year in Wales, over 6,000 people will have a sudden cardiac arrest in the community and approximately 80% of those will happen in the home. It is important to understand the steps involved in CPR, often called the Chain of Survival. This Awyr Las campaign ensures that we have a community of trained lifesavers. In some of Aberconwy’s most rural settings, this will save lives.

Regularly practicing our CPR method with a bear or ball will mean that we all have the confidence to step in and assist. After all, in this type of stressful situation, any CPR is better than no CPR. I encourage you to get involved! As always, should you have a question or concern, you can contact me by emailing [email protected]

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