The 'Citizen CPR' campaign, which has been organised by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), highlights how easy it is to perform compression-only CPR, rather than giving mouth-to-mouth.
More than 5,000 fatalities occur every year in Ireland as a result of sudden cardiac arrest with most over two-thirds of heart attacks taking place outside of hospitals. On average, 14 people will experience sudden cardiac arrest each day, of which only one will survive.
When an adult has a sudden cardiac arrest, their survival depends on them immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. From the moment of collapse the chance of someone staying alive decreases by between 7 to 10 per cent per minute if CPR is not performed. However, according to research, most people are afraid of doing CPR due to a lack of knowledge and for fear they will cause further injury.
Launching the new campaign today, Dr Pixie McKenna, the Cork-born presenter of Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies programme, said everyone should know how to perform resuscitation.
"Sudden cardiac arrest does not respect age, class or creed and it strikes where it likes. Just like the lotto, it could be one of you and it could already have been one of you. This is why it is absolutely vital that every citizen is both competent and confident in CPR," she said.
As part of the campaign, a national roadshow is to take place at 40 locations across the country aimed at demonstrating three simple steps for people to take if they see someone collapse. These are to check if the person is unresponsive and not breathing, to get someone to call 999 and to start compressiongs by pushing hard and fast in the centre of the individuals chest until help arrives.