Students at Cardiff University to receive free CPR training

The scheme aims to increase the cardiac arrest survival rate chances in Wales

Medical students from Cardiff University are offering CPR training to students under a scheme called ‘Students Save Lives’.

Students Save Lives will be rolled out across the University, using healthcare students as teachers. It is hoped that the scheme eventually be expanded to multiple institutions across Wales.

Wales has one of the lowest out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in Europe: just one in 20 survive, while in Norway and the Netherlands this figure is around one in four. With a population of 33,260 students here at the University, those involved in the scheme are keen to teach as many as possible the life saving skills that so many lack in Wales.

In Denmark, a similar scheme was introduced in schools which quadrupled the country’s cardiac arrest survival rate, the same is hoped for Wales.


Elliot Phillips (22), who is the fifth-year medical student leading the effort, told The Tab Cardiff: “We’ve just completed our pilot within the School of Journalism, Media & Culture where we were trying to teach their first-year undergrad students.”

“We’re hoping to expand into the other university schools in the new academic year. The scheme will be initially targeting first year undergrad students with the hope all students will have received some level of training within the first three years of the scheme.”

The scheme was piloted in March with 228 first-year JOMEC students.

Organisers are now currently in talks with other Welsh universities to expand the scheme which is potentially over 130,000 students.

Elliot continued, saying: “It’s a real opportunity to address the current very poor rate of survival in Wales. For every 3,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Wales just 200 people survive, and for every minute that someone doesn’t get CPR, their chances of survival decrease by 10 per cent.”

“The more people who know basic CPR across the country the better – our simple and cost-effective scheme could save many lives.”

Mark Drakeford with Elliot Phillips

The scheme offers a two-step approach: an immersive online course using 360-degree camera technology before an hour’s in-person session. The training is led by healthcare students, the majority trainee medics, with support from Save a Life Cymru partners such as the British Heart Foundation Cymru, Calon Hearts and St John’s Ambulance.

Professor Emeritus, Dr Len Nokes, Chair of Save a Life Cymru, said: “Save a Life Cymru are very proud to support Students Save Lives, it is such an inspirational project that will help to save many lives. Anyone, at any age and at any time can suffer a cardiac arrest and the best thing to do in this situation is to have a go at CPR and using a defibrillator.”

“This project will equip thousands of Cardiff University students with simple life-saving skills that will not only benefit communities here in Wales but people all over the world.”

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