It’s that time of the year when we all try to set new goals and new targets for the year. There are many ideas that people have at the beginning of the year usually packaged as New Year’s Resolutions. Some things people want to stop, change or add to their lives or activities in the New Year. In 2016, on the Aspiring Professionals Hub, it was our target to get to our one year anniversary, then continue the growth of the Hub…we have now as a result seen a rise in global readership to near 170 countries.

To start the New Year, we would like to get our readers to start the year with a health focus. There is a popular saying “health is wealth” and in line with that, staying healthy or keeping a healthy lifestyle in 2017 would be paramount to achieving any plans or targets for this year.

So what’s the health focus to start the year with? Learn CPR to save a life in 2017!

What exactly is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been defined by the as a procedure to support and maintain breathing and circulation for an infant, child, or adolescent who has stopped breathing (respiratory arrest) and/or whose heart has stopped (cardiac arrest)1. To the lay man or woman, CPR is usually known as mouth-to-mouth or chest compressions usually due to cardiac arrest.

Why is it important?

CPR is that important as it could be the determinant between life and death when someone suffers an out-of-hospital attack. The American College of Cardiology describes the basics of CPR in six simple steps here

In this short video, Mr Jeff White, Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Science at the University of the West of England, Bristol shares the actions to take in an emergency, out of hospital situation when an individual collapses as a result of a heart attack or where someone collapses around you suffering from breathing difficulties.

In addition, Jeff also suggests;

What should you do when someone needs CPR?

  • When checking for breathing ensure that the persons head is in the ‘head tilt chin lift position.
  • Ensure you compress the centre of the chest to a depth of 5-6cms
Image Source – Medline Plus


  • Don’t confuse gasping breaths for breathing, if the person is not taking a breath at least one every 6 seconds, THEY ARE NOT BREATHING
  • Do not stop the compressions unless you are unable to continue or somebody else takes over the compressions particularly when the paramedics/Doctor arrives as they will need time to organise equipment etc.

    Remember the target organ is the Brain not the Heart, you are compressing the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the brain

The last point is incredibly important as usually in movies, the perception is that the shock to the collapsed, non-breathing, unresponsive patient is to start the heart. Actually, in reality, the shock applied to the chest cavity is aimed at stopping rather than starting the heart. Fascinating stuff right? indeed!

On a personal note, I received Basic Life Support and Intermediate Life Support training some years ago in a past job and to date, I still count these as some of the best life skills I have gained. My tip for 2017 to all our readers, where possible, learn first aid or basic life support training as sometime in your life, it’ll come in handy….hopefully, fingers crossed, not in 2017. Happy New Year folks!

  1. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  2. CPR Basics.

 Hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions about this article or would like to speak to Mr Jeff White about the video or becoming a paramedic, do not hesitate to contact us at Also, if you would like to write for the hub in 2017, do contact us on the email address above. 

Video and commentary by Mr Jeff White, Paramedic and Senior Lecturer, UWE Bristol. 

Article written by Emmanuel Adukwu (APH)



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