South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed a move by Dumfries and Galloway Council which will see Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training for school pupils rolled out across all sixteen Secondary Schools.

The local MSP- who chairs the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group Heart Disease and Stroke has been backing a campaign by charity the British Heart Foundation (NHF) to have the training delivered in every secondary school in the country and Dumfries and Galloway has become the 23rd council across Scotland to sign up.

The call comes as the latest figures on heart attacks and heart disease show that there has been an increase in the number of people in Dumfries and Galloway suffering from the conditions. The latest figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division published last week shows that in 2017/18 – 986 people per 100,000 suffered from heart disease in the region, an increase from 931 per 100,000 in 2016/17. For heart attack, of which heart disease is a leading cause, there was an increase to 229 per 100,000 people in 2017/18.

According to the British Heart Foundation around 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests happen in the UK every year. The survival rate is less than 1 in 20. In other countries such as Denmark that teach all secondary school pupils in CPR the survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrests has improved to 1 in 4.

Colin Smyth MSP has lodged a motion to the Scottish Parliament welcoming the move by Dumfries and Galloway Council to roll out training.

Colin Smyth said, “Increasing the number of people trained in CPR is literally a live saving move. It is great news to see Dumfries and Galloway Council working alongside the British Heart Foundation in ensuring all of our secondary school pupils receive CPR training.”

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