Today I Wrote to the BBC!

IMG_1508As a survivor of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest whose life was saved by a passer-by who knew how to perform effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) I am very annoyed when I see this being demonstrated badly and ineffectively on TV dramas (not just Holby City). In fact the impression this gives to the watching public was studied and reported on in this paper

This showed that the more of such programmes people watched the poorer they became at describing proper CPR.

Since my cardiac arrest I have founded a group of volunteers which runs free courses on Basic Life Support for those who suffer Heart Attacks and Cardiac Arrests and am acutely aware of how few people actually believe that they need to train in this life-saving technique. Demonstrations of CPR such as was shown on this week’s Holby City are only fuelling this misconception, as shown in the above scientific study.

The bottom line is that if I had received the CPR as shown on this and other TV dramas I would now be DEAD! it’s as simple as that. Hence I hope you understand my strong feelings.

I am not alone in this, by any means. Even today I have seen a campaign has begun on Twitter to try to encourage TV producers to remedy this glaring misrepresentation of a vital life-saving procedure.

You may not be aware of this but the UK has one of the poorest rates of survival in Europe from sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, at around 6% of which there are up to 80,000 per year, and the depictions we are seeing on TV are not helping this. Please don’t say that it’s only a fictional programme so it doesn’t really matter. It does, believe me I know.

Thank you for allowing me to make this point.

Malcolm Robinson

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