Portsmouth pupils learn vital CPR as school takes part in Restart a Heart Day

Year 8 pupils from Mayfield School, in Portsmouth, took part in a Restart a Heart Day. Pictured is Professor Charles Deakin, medical director for South Central Ambulance Service, James Hudson-Hall, 12, and Karima Al-Sharrai, 12. Picture: Sarah Standing (180778-6712)
Year 8 pupils from Mayfield School, in Portsmouth, took part in a Restart a Heart Day. Pictured is Professor Charles Deakin, medical director for South Central Ambulance Service, James Hudson-Hall, 12, and Karima Al-Sharrai, 12. Picture: Sarah Standing (180778-6712)
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PUPILS at a Portsmouth school learnt about the importance of CPR and having a healthy heart.

Mayfield School, in Copnor, took part in the national campaign Restart a Heart Day which aims to teach more people how to carry out life-saving first aid. 

As part of their Restart a Heart Day, Mayfield School in Portsmouth unveiled a defibrillator. Picture: Sarah Standing (180778-6679)

As part of their Restart a Heart Day, Mayfield School in Portsmouth unveiled a defibrillator. Picture: Sarah Standing (180778-6679)

Year 8 pupils, and some youngsters from other year groups, learned CPR from South Central Ambulance Service paramedics, heard about the medical training firefighters have and dissected hearts.

They also learned about pulse rates, organ donation and how to keep a heart healthy as part of the Science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) event.

Professor Charles Deakin, a consultant in cardiac anaesthesia and cardiac intensive care, visited the school and gave a lesson on first aid.

He also answered questions on his career which includes founding the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and chairing the medical and survival sub-committee of the RNLI.

Mr Deakin unveiled a defibrillator next to the school’s main entrance which was purchased thanks to fundraisers from the teachers and a £500 donation from Co-op.

Mayfield’s head girl Helena Williams said: ‘I have learned so much about hands-on CPR and also how to give rescue breaths if needed.

‘It is so important for our school and the community that we have the defibrillator here, as it is so simple to use by anyone, and could save the life of anyone who requires it.

‘We learned a lot from Professor Deakin and all of our guests.’

This is the second year Mayfield has got involved in Restart a Heart Day, held yesterday.

Its bespoke curriculum offering the six sessions could be adopted by other schools looking to get involved in the campaign.

Michelle Williams, Stem captain, said: ‘I want to be a cardio surgeon so meeting Professor Deakin was brilliant. He is very inspirational and has so much to teach everyone.

‘It is so important that we can teach as many people as we can how to do CPR,’

Gordon Jackson, Stem co-ordinator at the school, said he was pleased with how the day went and how much the pupils learned.

He said they were learning a key skill in CPR and the school is hoping to hold evening classes to invite parents to learn it too.

‘The pupils found the whole day really amazing,’ he said.

‘They got to learn so much and it was a real success. One of the things our students took away from it was the Save a Life app which shows where the nearest defibrillator is and how to use it.’