The Kids Save Lives campaign brings together a range of NZ healthcare organisations, who are committed to creating a new generation of lifesavers.
We urge the NZ government to rise to the standard recently set by English schools, and teach children first aid and CPR as a core part of the health and physical education curriculum.
A generation of children confident in their ability to save lives can have a tremendous impact. We will all benefit from a safer, more productive society with reduced healthcare costs.
Two hours teaching annually, beginning at 12 years old, is enough to reach not only the children themselves but their wider communities.
Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in industrialized nations, and ischaemic heart disease is the second most prevalent cause of death in our country.
A professional response by paramedics and physicians generally takes at least five minutes to arrive, and the brain starts to die after 3-5 minutes.
In most cases, bystanders who witness such a collapse can perform at least basic chest compressions, the key procedure to protect the brain from dying.
Approximately 12% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims in New Zealand survive following emergency CPR.
This figure is an improvement upon the past, but we are confident New Zealand can do better.