Schoolchildren taught how to restart a heart at Portsmouth event

Mark Cubbon, the new chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

New chief executive for Queen Alexandra Hospital appointed

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PRIMARY school pupils were shown how to restart a heart as part of an awareness day.

Twelve Year 6 pupils from Kingscourt School in Catherington learnt how to carry out chest compressions.

Pip Davies gives resuscitation training to Kingscourt School pupils Ben Davies, 10, and Cassia Faithfull, 10. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142966-1)

Pip Davies gives resuscitation training to Kingscourt School pupils Ben Davies, 10, and Cassia Faithfull, 10. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142966-1)

They were being taught the lifesaving skill at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, which took part in the international Restart A Heart Day.

Resuscitation officer at the hospital Pip Davies said: ‘If someone has a cardiac arrest then knowing how to get the heart beating again is an important skill.

‘We were showing people how to interlock their hands, keep their arms straight, and do two compressions per second. You shouldn’t be afraid to press hard – a lot of people worry they could do more damage.

‘But if a person’s heart isn’t beating, then it’s vital you do something to get it going.’

First to have a go at resuscitation were Cassia Faithfull, 10, and Ben Davies, 10.

Cassia said: ‘It was a bit harder than I thought it would be to press down.

‘I learnt you need to push down very hard.

‘I’m glad I learnt this, as I have never done it before and think it’s important to know.’

Ben added: ‘I have been shown once before with the Cubs, but I had forgotten a lot of it. It was good to get a reminder on how to carry out CPR.’

The awareness day focused on chest compressions only.

Pip added: ‘Some people are still unsure about giving mouth-to-mouth.

‘The gold standard would be to do this, but if you’re faced with an emergency and it’s putting you off, then we are showing people to do the compressions anyway.

‘Doing those alone can help someone until a paramedic arrives.

‘It’s important that once you have dialled 999 and start CPR, that you carry on until help arrives. It can be tiring, but it can make a difference.’

Barry Easton is a teacher at Kingscourt.

He said: ‘He always like to show children how to carry out CPR. It gives them a little bit of knowledge to know what to do in that situation.

‘I’m a first-aider so I think it’s very useful.’