Posted: Thu 18th Aug 2022

The Welsh Elvis teams up with a school girl to save lives with new ‘CPR song’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 18th, 2022

Primary school children from all over Wales can soon learn the skills to save lives thanks to a new ‘CPR song’.

The song will be launched officially on Thursday, August 18, at Faenol Fawr Country House, in St Asaph, with Welsh Elvis and Jess, a secondary school girl in singing the song live.

Each year, around 6,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in Wales and evidence shows that if CPR and defibrillation is performed swiftly then survival rates can be dramatically improved by up to 70%.

A cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating due to a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system.

The success rate of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) varies in each country. In Norway 25% of OHCA survive, in England it is only 8% and in Wales it has been suggested that it is worryingly less than 4%.

However, the CPR song, thought to be the first of its kind in the world, could potentially improve the statistics for Wales.

Julie Starling, Clinical OHCA Programme Manager for Wales, came up with the idea of the song as a fun way to teach primary school children the sequence of CPR that also incorporates the key lifesaving elements.

Julie said: “Through song, dance and sign language children are introduced to a life skill that I hope will become second nature to them as they develop into a new generation of lifesavers willing and prepared to initiate CPR and help save another human’s life.

“Armed with the CPR song concept I approached BCUHB staff members to help me make the song into a reality.

“Edwin Humphreys, BCUHB Psychiatric Nurse, wrote the song. Our Health Board’s Chaplain Rev. Wynne Roberts, better known as Welsh Elvis, sings it alongside 12-year-old Jess, and Alisha, performs the sign language in the video. Both Jess and Alisha are daughters of North Wales Cardiac Centre Staff.”

She added: “One initiative that helped Denmark increase their survival rates from 3% to 10% was introducing CPR training in schools, so I’m pleased to see that CPR has now been added to the Welsh curriculum from September 2022.”

Rev. Wynne Roberts aka Welsh Elvis, commented: “To learn how to do CPR is to learn how to potentially give other people a future.

“Having learnt how to do CPR years ago makes me feel as though I have a secret weapon to help anyone in need.”

“Launching this song also has an extra poignancy for me, as Elvis himself died of a cardiac arrest and he may have been saved if he’d been given CPR in time.”

Keep the Beats, part of the North Wales Charity Awyr Las, has for the past four years been striving to improve OHCA survival rates by initiating community CPR and defibrillator training across North Wales, and has supported the installation of over 500 community defibrillators.

Keep the Beats has supported face to face CPR training in primary schools but limited resources has prevented this being a viable solution and the song is hoped to be an alternative resource.

For ease of use, the song is supported by its very own web site www.thecprsong.co.uk , (which will became live on the night of the launch 18th August) and this houses an easy to use lesson plan, role-play sheets and cartoon workbook which can be used both at home or in school.

Dr Len Nokes, Emeritus Professor and Chair of Save a Life Cymru, said: “I am delighted to be endorsing the CPR song and the interactive teaching resource pack.

“This bilingual resource will give primary schools the tools they need to meet the demands of the new lifesaving skills and first aid module within the curriculum, from this September.

“Its focus is to introduce basic CPR skills in an engaging way so that children are aware that they can help someone who has collapsed, is not breathing or not breathing normally.

“A cardiac arrest is an emergency situation, that can happen to anyone at any age, and this resource will help to give our future generations the confidence to step in and help save lives.”

Jo Whitehead, Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “This fantastic song is – as far as we know – the first of its kind and has the potential to save many lives.

“It’s all been done in-house with our fantastic staff and I’d like to congratulate them all for working on such an innovative project.

“It has been wonderful to see how Keep the Beats has grown from strength to strength over the past four years and I’m sure with initiatives that really capture the imagination like this, CPR awareness will improve in Wales.”

If you would like to find out more about what the Keep the Beats project has achieved so far, please visit https:/awyrlas.org.uk/keepthebeats.

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