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Students Learn How to Love Their Hearts

Students have been learning how to love and look after their hearts this Valentine’s Day In recognition of National Heart Month and Valentines Day, students at Manchester Health Academy, Chorlton High and Levenshulme High have been working with the ORCS (Opportunities for Resuscitation & Citizen Safety) team, from the Accident and Emergency Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary. ORCS is a locally developed project that aims to raise young people’s awareness of the incidence of heart and circulatory disease in big cities such as Manchester. By raising awareness it is hoped that they will modify their life-styles to help reduce their own personal risk of developing a cardio-vascular disease. Some of the ORCS work is carried out by teachers but the ORCS team have also been visiting schools to teach the students about how to recognise and respond to someone who is suffering a heart attack and the greatest risk associated with it: a cardiac arrest. The students are taught how to work through the first three links in the chain of survival: • Early Access – that an immediate 999 call is crucial. • Early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to help sustain life, doing chest compressions and mouth-mouth breathing helps oxygenated blood flow to the person’s brain and heart. • Early defibrillation (the delivery of an electric shock to the heart muscle) to try to restore normal heart function). Previously a defibrillator was a complicated piece of equipment used by Health Care Professionals. Modifications now mean that trained members of the public can use this life saving equipment. This series of actions performed promptly, gives anyone suffering from a heart attack that leads to cardiac arrest the greatest chance of survival. In the five years that ORCS has been operational in Manchester, ORCS staff have worked in 12 local secondary schools, with over 3,500 14-17 year olds.