Learn a simple skill - it saves lives!
In the last few weeks, we have seen that anyone – no matter their levels of fitness – can suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
But it’s the “what happens next” that can be crucial to their chances of survival.
Both 20-year-old Blairgowrie Rugby Club player Hamish Bell and the Danish international footballer Christian Eriksen are still alive thanks to the prompt actions of team-mates and medical staff.
As you can see on the video, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer and Scotland team doctor James Robson has taken the Scotland national men’s squad through some simple measures that anyone can do if confronted by a collapse where an individual has stopped breathing and is unresponsive.
His sessions have been in support of the work being undertaken by the Scottish Ambulance Service and Save a Life Scotland.
Similar sessions will be undertaken with the Scotland Women’s squad later this year.
Dr Robson said: “We have been teaching the national squad players CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation – in light of what we have seen happening on and off the pitch.
“We would promote it to everybody. For every minute of delay, that patient – it could be your team-mate, friend or a passer-by – loses 10% of their chances of survival.
“Early CPR is essential, and I would encourage everyone to help. Please get enrolled in local courses, check out the Scottish Ambulance Service website or see your first-aid advisors. It’s a skill that everybody can learn and, as we’ve seen, it saves lives.”
During the session, Dr Robson advised players that the call to the Ambulance Service should be made in tandem with starting CPR.
He also praised the number of clubs, organisations and communities who have installed defibrillators, also known as “heart-start” machines, which can be used to restore regular heart rhythm.
One of the Scotland players knows more than most the importance of Dr Robson’s message.
Magnus Bradbury, the 25-year-old Edinburgh Rugby back-row forward, who has won 14 caps for Scotland, said: “ It’s a cause that’s close to my heart as my dad and a neighbour saved my mum this time last year.”
Mum, Scottish Rugby past president Dee Bradbury, was revived by husband Nick and a neighbour at her home near Oban. They used chest compressions and a defibrillator and, a year on, Dee is well.
“It’s great to see this campaign and hopefully this raises awareness of the part we can all play to keep everyone safe,” he said.
Magnus added: “To be honest I should have asked my dad for a few pointers! But the session with James underlined that it’s a very straight-forward process.
“I would encourage everyone to learn CPR. As James says there are classes you can attend but you can also just Google it.”
Scottish Rugby is extending its best wishes to Hamish Bell at Blairgowrie. Three of our British & Irish Lions players, Zander Fagerson, Hamish Watson and Stuart Hogg, have sent him video messages and we have also sent signed Lions and Scotland shirts to him as he continues his recovery at home having been discharged from hospital last week.
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “So that we can increase the survival rates of those who go into cardiac arrest in Scotland, it’s really important for us to embolden people to deliver bystander CPR and to use a defibrillator if they witness someone in cardiac arrest. Taking this action at the right time can be crucial in saving someone’s life.
“Over the last five years, we’ve been working with the Save a Life for Scotland (SALFS) partnership. In that time, we’ve equipped over 640,000 people with CPR skills and doubled survival rates for those suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to one in ten. Our aim is to deliver the message that everybody in Scotland has the power to help save lives.”