A 24-hour basic lifesaving marathon has kicked off at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

The aim is to teach staff and members of the public how to help revive someone who has had a cardiac arrest using chest compressions – a basic element of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The first chest compressions began on dummies in the Conviva restaurant in the main entrance of Stoke Mandeville on Friday November 3 at 8am.

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The mammoth life-saving session will continue at the Aylesbury Hospital for 24 hours until 8am on Saturday November 4.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s Resuscitation Service Lead Nick Thompson told the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) why teaching people basic life-saving skills is so important.



He said: “By encouraging people to be able to call the emergency services, by encouraging people to be able to do high quality chest compressions and by encouraging people to be aware of how to use an automated external defibrillator, we can make a dramatic improvement in our survival rates.

“We want people to know that their two hands can be the difference between somebody’s life and death.”

In the UK, there are around 80,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests survival every year, but the survival rate is just one in 10.



A cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, which causes the person to collapse and stop breathing.

Michelle Pearsall, Matron for Oncology and Haematology, is one of dozens of staff who are participating in the life saving marathon at Stoke Mandeville.

After taking part, she told the LDRS that doing chest compressions for two minutes was “tiring” but was “worthwhile” as a reminder of how to save lives.

She said: “I think it is important that everybody has an awareness of how to do chest compressions because it is really valuable.

“I have seen it save lives out in the community. If you come across somebody that is unresponsive and you have this simple skill, it is a massive help to the person.”



The 24-hour session of uninterrupted chest compressions is raising funds for the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Charitable Fund.

The marathon is being held by the Resuscitation Service at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The team are asking for willing volunteers from the local community to come along and take part for as little or as much time as they can give.

In return they will be given training, if they have never performed chest compressions, and a certificate of participation.