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Helping hands can mean beating hearts - a Valentine plea from the Isle of Wight Ambulance service

Helping hands can mean beating hearts - a Valentine plea from the Isle of Wight Ambulance service
14 February 2021

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service wants to remind the public of the importance for people to learn basic life support skills and not to be afraid to give Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to help save a life.

Louise Walker, IOW NHS Trust Ambulance Education, Training & Engagement Lead said: “80% of out of hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home and with increased numbers of people staying home, it may be a loved one you are called on to help. Learning and performing CPR could be the difference between life and death for a family member, a colleague at work, or a stranger in the street.

“Don’t be afraid to give CPR, get hands on and do your best before the paramedics arrive as it can save someone’s life.”

How to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

When someone collapses and stops breathing normally, it is important to quickly call 999, perform hands-only CPR and use a defibrillator. Hands-only CPR reduces your risk of catching an infection. 

In light of COVID-19, the steps you should take when performing CPR have changed but the need to perform CPR has not. 

  1. If someone is collapsed and not breathing normally, do not put your face next to theirs
  2. Call for an ambulance
  3. Use a towel or piece of clothing and lay it over the mouth and nose
  4. Do not do mouth to mouth
  5. Start chest compressions to the tempo of “Stayin’ Alive”
  6. Use a Public Access Defibrillator if available

Further information about Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is available online at including a video that explains the steps you should take if you see someone in cardiac arrest.

How to do CPR during COVID-19 (Scottish Accent) from RCUK on Vimeo.


The number of public defibrillators available on the Island has grown immensely over the years. Having a defibrillator immediately available in the event of cardiac arrest can really make the difference between life and death.

If you had to call 999 for a cardiac arrest emergency, the call handler would inform you of the nearest defibrillator and how to access it.

Please contact the Isle of Wight Ambulance Training Community Response Services on:  01983 534111 with defibrillator enquires. For vandalism or theft please call the Police.

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