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Save a Life Cymru

Every year in Wales, over 6,000 people will have an out of hospital cardiac arrest. They often occur suddenly and without warning. Without early recognition and immediate action in the first few minutes of the cardiac arrest happening, death is likely.

An out of hospital cardiac arrest is a term used for a cardiac arrest that happens suddenly when you are going about your day in your community, whilst at work, following your leisure activities or just relaxing at home. It can happen at any time and to anyone of any age - whether you’re male or female, young or old. 

Your chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac will fall by 10% with every passing minute if somebody doesn’t have a go at performing CPR and using a defibrillator.

Doing something is always better than doing nothing, and it’s good to remember the simple steps of phoning 999, performing immediate CPR, using a defibrillator, and continuing CPR until the ambulance crew arrive. 

In Wales, the survival rate following an out of hospital cardiac arrest is less than 5%. Compare this to England who have a survival rate of 10%, Scotland at 9% and in some European countries and USA cities it is around 25%. 

Wales therefore has a long way to go. But learning the skill of CPR and using a defibrillator can make a real difference.  With your help, we will start to see more people surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest here in Wales.

About Save a Life Cymru

Save a Life Cymru was established in 2019 by Welsh Government to: 

  • Make sure that people know what to do if an out of hospital cardiac arrest happens
  • Increase the number of people who are willing to give CPR a go
  • Increase the public’s understanding of defibrillators
  • Making sure that everyone’s chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest is the same across Wales.



If you see someone in cardiac arrest, they will not be breathing or breathing normally, and doing CPR is the only way to save them.  

Research commissioned by Save a Life Cymru has shown that people who have received some CPR training or instruction are far more confident to have a go at CPR.

Save a Life Cymru believe that doing any CPR is better than not doing CPR, and would highly recommend that everybody familiarises themselves with the steps of CPR and defibrillation through, for example: 

However you decide to learn CPR do it now, so you and your family are ready and prepared to save a life.

Some more useful resources below: 

Digital training

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has created RevivR™ an interactive online CPR training video. It takes 15 minutes, in the comfort of your home, to learn the basic skills. 

The Resuscitation Council has an easy to follow guide  that teaches you the basic principles of CPR and how to save a life.

Face-to-face and online training

The British Red Cross

St John Cymru 

CPR learning pack for children and families

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is now part of the Curriculum for Wales.

The CPR Song, developed by the charity Keep the Beats, is a new resource to teach CPR to primary school children in Key Stages One and Two, through song, dance and British Sign Language.

It was developed with the support of teachers and healthcare professionals and is supported by a lesson plan and workbook.  

Children can practice the CPR Song in the classroom, at home or as an educational activity.

Whichever way you choose to learn the CPR Song, it's an easy and fun way to introduce CPR – a life-saving skill.  

You can download the bi-lingual resources for FREE from the CPR Song website.


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