Cardiac arrest awareness day a big success

A cardiac arrest awareness day, held in conjunction with Heartwize and the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) at the Fischer County Ground, was a massive success.

The club partnered with the two charities to raise awareness and educate on the first day of the Specsavers County Championship game against Sussex.

Leicestershire CCC players wore special t-shirts to celebrate the work of the charities in the pre-match warm-up with practical demonstrations of basic resuscitation skills given by volunteers from Heartwize.

Pupils from Limehurst Academy in Loughborough were trained in CPR, the use of a defibrillator and how to put somebody in the recovery position by Heartwize, and then passed on their knowledge.

This was achieved through demonstrations on the field at the lunch and tea intervals, and training sessions during the day, with supporters and staff members receiving hands-on training, with the use of CPR manikins and training defibrillators.

People were also given a card, which fits neatly into a wallet or purse, with vital information about CPR and use of a defibrillator, as they entered the ground.

The day was inspired by Steve Humphries, a huge supporter of sport in our region, who tragically lost son Joe, who died while out jogging with a friend in October 2012. Ambassador Tim Boon, a former player and coach at Leicestershire CCC, was also at the FCG during the day.

Julie Young, Programme Co-ordinator of Heartwize Resuscitation Training Programme, said: “It’s very important for sports clubs to be involved in events like this one at Leicestershire County Cricket Club. We’re currently teaching people in county cricket clubs and are looking to teach Academy players too.

“We’re also teaching in running clubs in Leicestershire and Derbyshire. In the last year alone, we’ve seen four cardiac arrests in recreational runners and fortunately, because of prompt intervention with CPR being given by bystanders, three of the victims survived."

Dr William Toff, Co-Director of Heartwize and Associate Professor in Cardiology at the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to raise awareness of the problem of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and to provide training to staff and spectators at the match.

“By ensuring that bystanders know how to respond if they witness a cardiac arrest, we are confident that we can greatly improve the survival rate, which is currently less than 10% in the UK.”

David, a Leicestershire CCC supporter who attended the session, said: “You hope never to need to do it but you never know and you have to be prepared for every eventuality. I was delighted to have the opportunity to learn and it was convenient being done on a matchday. The students were excellent and I learnt a lot.”

Leicestershire CCC would like to thank Heartwize, the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, the pupils from Limehurst Academy and everybody who attended; your support is much appreciated.