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College beats world record for CPR relay

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03/03/16 CPR world record attempt 03/03/16 Long Road Sixth Form College attempts to break the world record for the number of people doing CPR in one go. Picture: Keith Heppell

Students and staff at Long Road Sixth Form College have broken the world record for a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) relay – and in just 2.5 hours! The previous Guinness World Record was set in November 2015 by Queensland Ambulances in Australia and stood at 986 people – this just pipped the previous record of 982 set by Manchester University in October 2015.  However, after starting at 9.10am, we had reached 987 by 11.33am and reached 1126 at the end – a resounding success.

03/03/16 CPR world record attemptStudents went to the Student Centre at allotted times to use 20 ‘resussi-annies’. They had three minutes to kneel next to their annie, shake it on each shoulder to say “Can you hear me?”, put their cheek next to the mouth to see if they could feel the breath, and then start chest compressions. When doing chest compressions, the rhythm is to the beat of “Nellie the Elephant”, so this was played in the Student Centre throughout.

To qualify for Guinness World Records the changeover time between one person and the next is a maximum of 15 seconds, and if at any point there had been no-one carrying out CPR in the room, the attempt would have ended. Every student and member of staff who participated received a hand stamp with a heart on it. Once someone had the stamp, they were not allowed to take part again. Independent verifiers were present to make sure that the procedure was followed correctly, and the event was filmed. The evidence will now be sent to Guinness World Records for confirmation.

Heather Chambers, Vice Principal, explained CPR on a specially-made video shown to classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. She comments:

“I had to carry out CPR recently, and this made me realise how crucial it is that as many people as possible know what to do to save lives. I am delighted that we have beaten the record, but more importantly, we have carried out an extremely important training exercise. In addition, this is the 250th anniversary of the founding of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, so this is our way of commemorating the milestone.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support of the Resuscitation team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the Army cadets, parent Katy Drury, University of Cambridge First Aid reps and St John’s Ambulance.  Our own Health and Social care students looked after each resusci-annie –  superbly and guided each student  through the process.  A fantastic event.”