The Heartwize Schools Programme was conceived and initiated in 2014 by the University Hospitals of Leicester and the University of Leicester with cardiologist colleagues Dr Doug Skehan and Dr William Toff in the clinical and academic services respectively, who wanted to teach as many people as possible how to perform CPR.
The team also places Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) into schools and other community locations where they could be life-saving for victims of cardiac arrest.
Dr Skehan explains: “We wanted to do something more strategic than simply donating the AEDs to community locations. The basic idea was to recruit health professionals to volunteer their time to deliver training in schools on how to respond to a cardiac arrest. We are really pleased with the willingness of local schools to welcome the training and assembly presentations.”
Dr Toff, Associate Professor in Cardiology at the University of Leicester, added: “We would like to thank the many contributors to Heartwize from Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester Medical School and the wider community. Our ambition is to develop a culture of responsiveness when a cardiac arrest occurs in the community and the younger generation is our main focus.”
The success of Heartwize has been the result of a remarkable collaboration between a wide range of volunteers, school leaders, charities and community supporters. Partnerships have also been developed with agencies such as the British Heart Foundation, the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and a local medical events company, Millbrook, who have hosted the considerable task of administration of the project.
The Heartwize team would be pleased to hear from anyone who is trained in CPR and the use of an AED, and would like to become a Heartwize Trainer (e-mail [email protected]).
This film was produced by Marketing and Student Recruitment, University of Leicester.
Filmed and Edited by Carl Vivian
Produced by Ellen Rudge
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