The importance of learning CPR has been highlighted by MSPs following the collapse of Christian Eriksen at Euro 2020.
Denmark midfielder Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday during his country’s match against Finland.
He was given emergency CPR on the pitch as the game was suspended, before being taken to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.
At the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Public health minister Maree Todd outlined the significance of raising awareness about CPR.
Scottish Conservative MSP Sandesh Gulhane had asked whether the Scottish Government would consider subsidising automated external defibrillator purchases for amateur sports grounds.
“The incident at Euro 2020 is a stark reminder of the importance of prompt CPR and access to defibrillation to improve a person’s chance of survival from an out of hospital cardiac arrest,” said Todd
“Our thoughts go out to Christian Eriksen, his family and his teammates. I’m sure I speak for everyone in this chamber and all over Scotland when I say we are very relieved that the prompt action taken has saved his life and he is now recovering well.
“The Scottish Government, working with our partners in the ‘Save a Life for Scotland’ partnership, launched an out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy in 2015 and since then, over 640,000 people in Scotland have been trained with the skills to perform CPR.
“In 2015, only one in 20 people survived a cardiac arrest, this has now increased to one in 10 people surviving.”
She added: “The provision of life saving equipment such as defibrillators is the responsibility of individual sporting, governing bodies.
“Sport Scotland is working very closely with Save a Life Scotland to share the life saving skill of CPR throughout community hubs.”
Gulhane said: “I would like to join you and everyone in wishing Christian Eriksen and his family a speedy recovery and my prayers.
“CPR saved his life. Knowing how to perform CPR saves lives. The more people in Scotland that know how to do CPR the better, and of note, the British Heart Foundation has an excellent hands only CPR resource on the internet.
“So, how will the Scottish Government encourage more people to learn CPR, as we’ve already heard some of the response, ensure those school leavers who miss training due to Covid receive it and also, can we ensure it is a course that is put on university and for public employers to do?”
Todd responded: “I certainly agree with (Gulhane) that one of the things that we need to do is absolutely improve people’s awareness of CPR and their confidence in performing it.”
The minister explained that the aim is to increase the number of people with CPR training to one million by 2026.
She added: “I also have great confidence that this particular incident that we’re discussing right now will remind people and focus attention on the need for absolutely every single one of us to learn CPR and when somebody has a cardiac arrest near us to call for help, dial 999 and perform CPR.”
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