Learn to save a woman’s life with Irish Heart Foundation campaign

Sally Dobie

View of first aid on the sidewalk

In honour of International Women’s day, the Irish Heart Foundation launched a new campaign last week to encourage people to learn life-saving CPR.

The campaign featured women who used CPR to save another woman’s life in 2016. After a charity cycling event, Rosaleen Walsh of Ballymote, Sligo, suffered a cardiac arrest. Her life was saved after receiving CPR from two other female participants in the race.

The main purpose of the campaign is to encourage people to “learn how to save a woman’s life” through their free Hands For Life CPR courses around the country.

The campaign is one of a few launched to promote the The Hands For Life course, which was launched one year ago. One of the goals of the course is to encourage bystander CPR.

Resuscitation Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation Brigid Sinnott said with CPR training, people are ten times more likely to respond in an emergency situation.

Sinnott said she met Walsh at an event in Sligo, where she was sharing her story to encourage people to learn CPR. Sinnott was able to get in touch with Walsh about the International Women’s Day campaign as well as the two women, Jeanette Gray and Therese O’Grady, who helped save her life.

In 2018, there were 2,442 Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA) where resuscitation was attempted, and bystander CPR was attempted in 81 per cent of these cases. This percentage is much higher than in some other European countries.

67 percent of those incidences were male and 33 per cent were female. 176 patients were discharged alive in 2018 because someone started CPR, compared to 152 in 2017.

The number of people attempting CPR increased by 21 per cent between 2012 and 2018, according to figures published last year by the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Register (OHCAR).

The CPR process is performed the same way on both men and women, and the Irish Heart Foundation will soon be launching a campaign focused on men’s health.

Sinnott said they will likely be holding training at DCU in the future.

Due to safety concerns relating to Covid-19, the Irish Heart Foundation made the decision to hold the Hands For Life program for six weeks, with a weekly review. However, there is a Google form available on their website for people who are interested in signing up for the course when it begins again.

Sally Dobie

Image Credit: Health Women