Watchdog approves Vinnie Jones' hands-only CPR ad
The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) recent ‘hands-only’ CPR advert has been approved by the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) following a number of complaints.
Twenty people voiced concerns to the advertising watchdog that actor Vinnie Jones was performing CPR incorrectly; they claim he should have given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation too.
However, when the advert was released back in January this year, the BHF said promoting the practice of hands-only CPR would encourage bystanders to help victims of cardiac arrest.
The ASA ruled the advert was safe to be aired because the BHF followed European Resuscitation Council guidelines when producing it.
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"We noted the ad aimed to teach untrained individuals how they could help in situations where CPR was required, noting the on-screen text and voice-over at the end of the ad that stated 'Hands-only CPR, it's not as hard as it looks’,” the ASA said in a statement.
“We considered that that made clear the ad was teaching hands-only CPR, and did not believe that trained individuals would consider the messages of the 40-second ad to override their own CPR training.
“Because the ad showed correct techniques for hands-only CPR, we concluded the ad was not harmful and did not encourage unsafe behaviour.”
The television and online ad campaign portrays the often unseen softer side of Vinnie Jones, an ex-Wales footballer, Hollywood actor and hard man.
Jones appears as one of the characters Jones is most known for – from the film Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels – as he performs hands-only CPR on a stranger in front of the camera.
In addition to demonstrating to the public how it should be done, the BHF is also advising the pace at which the compressions should be given – to the tempo of disco classic Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.
The inspiration behind the advert was the shockingly low survival rates of victims of a cardiac arrest that occurs outside of a hospital.
Just 10 percent of people who have a heart attack away from a healthcare setting survive; a statistic which the British Heart Foundation describes as “appalling”.
Meanwhile, a study revealed 50 percent of people would be too afraid to help someone who was having a heart attack, because they didn’t have enough knowledge of what to do.
Speaking when the advert launched earlier this year, Ellen Mason, the BHF’s Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “The kiss of life can often be daunting for untrained bystanders who want to help when someone has collapsed with a cardiac arrest.
“Hands-only CPR should give lots of people the confidence and know-how to help save someone in cardiac arrest, the ultimate medical emergency.”
According to the heart charity, it is aware of 15 incidences in which people have used the hands-only CPR method promoted in the advert, with a positive outcome.
The BHF's hands-only CPR advert:
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NHS staff face severe impact on mental health due to COVID
The decision to drop COVID-19 restrictions in England this month alarmed doctors in the National Health Service (NHS) while hospitalisations are on the rise. At the same time, hospitals have started cancelling operations again adding to the existing backlog of operations, which estimates say could take a year to clear.
Dr James Gilleen of the University of Roehampton and his Covida Project team are warning of the ongoing risks to the mental health of NHS staff, many of whom are traumatised from the first wave of infections. “As the UK continues to see COVID-19 infection numbers rise at a similarly alarming rate as those seen during the country’s second wave, it’s combined with a renewed strain on the NHS and its staff" he said.
The Covida Project is a digital tool created to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline workers including NHS staff, the police and carers.
“Healthcare workers are already exhausted and burnt-out; they are traumatised from their experiences of working during the pandemic. During the first wave in May 2020, a study from the Covida Project found an unprecedented quadrupling of the number of NHS staff with high levels of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to before Covid-19" Gilleen said.
"Having the most severe levels of these symptoms was statistically linked to four key factors - insufficient access or pressure to reuse Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), insufficient workplace preparation, insufficient training and communications, and a higher workload. Staff aren’t just anxious, depressed and traumatised from being over-worked – it is from feeling unsafe and at risk."
The Covida Project found that almost a third of healthcare workers reported moderate to severe levels of anxiety and depression. The number reporting very high symptoms was four times higher than before the pandemic.
Gilleen adds, “With COVID-19 restrictions now fully removed in England, NHS staff face the daunting triple-threat of rising Covid-19 hospitalisations, huge backlogs of medical operations to clear, and the added expectation of large increases in winter flu, which is already being seen even now in summer.
"These difficulties are present at a time when the NHS is already under-resourced, impacted by sickness and/or staff being ‘pinged’ to self-isolate through the government’s track and trace app, and staff continuing to fear the daily risk of infecting family and friends.
"Together these are considerable psychological burdens and create a perfect storm for the mental health and well-being of NHS staff."
Gilleen says there may be worse to come, especially if new, more transmissible variants develop. "Previous research after other pandemics such as SARS has shown that residual mental health symptoms like PTSD can continue for years, so the impact of repeated waves over the long-term will be potentially catastrophic for the mental health of NHS staff.
He has some clear recommendations to protect the wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers. “To protect the mental health of NHS staff they must feel they are less at risk or in danger, have access to the required level of PPE, not be continuously over-worked, with better staffing, more opportunities for rest and space to share their stress.
"Despite this and similar findings from other studies, still not enough is being done to protect NHS staff mental health and wellbeing and we fear it will continue to suffer in the months to come. With this comes the real risk that large numbers of staff will burn out or even quit the NHS.”