CPR – How to help save a life

The Scottish Government has been promoting its campaign to Save A Life. Here are the five steps for bystanders to perform CPR on someone who's had a cardiac arrest

In Scotland each year, around 3,000 people will have a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately only around 1 in 20 people will survive, but bystanders who carry out CPR can buy time until an ambulance crew arrives – chances of survival increase by two to three times if someone carries out CPR before medics get to the scene.

The Scottish Government has been promoting its campaign to Save A Life. Read all about it here: www.savealife.scot and see below for the five golden rules of what you should do if you see someone with cardiac arrest.


  • 1. Check to see if the person is responsive and if they are breathing normally. If they are not then their heart has stopped beating and they are having a cardiac arrest.
  • 2. Shout for help and call 999. The operator will talk you through what needs to be done.
  • 3. Then do Hands-only CPR.
  • 4. Put your hands together and lock your fingers, knuckles up. Keep your arms straight and lock your elbows. Get up on your knees so your shoulders are right over their chest. Then push down by five or six centimetres on the centre of their chest. Push hard and fast about two times a second, like to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. Don’t worry about hurting them. A cracked rib can mend – just concentrate on saving a life.
  • 5. Keep going and don’t stop until the ambulance arrives.

Whether it is for a family member or a stranger, stepping forward to perform CPR does save lives.