West Suffolk Hospital cardiac physiologist calls for more people to learn CPR after saving life in Bury St Edmunds
A cardiac physiologist is calling for more people to learn CPR after she was able to use the skill to save a man’s life in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend.
Caroline Pryke, who works at West Suffolk Hospital in the town, says she feels “very proud” to have made a difference and now wants to help others learn the life-saving skill.
Mrs Pryke was in the town centre last Saturday with husband Kevin and children Rupert, 4, and Esmae, 2, when she came across a crowd of people on the corner of St Andrew’s Street North.
She quickly recognised the man was having a cardiac arrest and began CPR.
She said: “I suppose it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Kevin had gone to have his hair cut and I just noticed a crowd of people.
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“After doing the initial checks I started CPR while an ambulance was being called. After doing it for a quite a while, a woman said she knew how to do chest compressions and helped.
“It feels amazing and I feel very proud to have made a difference.
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“Seconds really count in these situations and I’ve spoken to people since who say although they might have had CPR training once before, they wouldn’t feel confident in a real life situation.
“I’m lucky that in my job, I have mandatory training every year, but I think everyone can have that ability to be able to make a difference.”
Mrs Pryke added that she has now applied to become a volunteer community first responder on the back of the incident.
“I now feel really passionately about encouraging people to learn CPR,” she said. “I’m looking at ways in which I can get involved with workshops to get the message out there.”
Julie Ward, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, and devastatingly fewer than one in 10 people survive.
“Every minute without CPR or defibrillation can reduce a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10%.
“If survival rates matched those reported in Norway, where CPR is taught more widely, we estimate that as many as 5,000 lives could be saved.
“We need everyone in the UK to learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and give CPR when someone collapses after a cardiac arrest.
“That’s why we are urging secondary schools across the UK to apply for our free training kits and help create a Nation of Lifesavers.”