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Newsletter October 2020: Great success of our World Restart a Heart Day 2019

Up to 206 Million People Reached and Over 5.4 Million Trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Worldwide

Nadine Rott1, Andrew Lockey2, Bernd W. Böttiger1


1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Germany

2 Emergency Department, Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, United Kingdom



“All citizens of the world can save a life: “CHECK— CALL—COMPRESS.” With these words, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) launched the 2019 global “World Restart a Heart (WRAH)” initiative to increase public awareness and improve the rates of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and overall survival for millions of victims of cardiac arrest globally. Sudden cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in all developed countries. Now we can very proudly present the unique and worldwide success of this campaign: 5,4 Million people were trained in CPR and 206 Million people reached via Social Media in 2019 – under the umbrella of ILCOR and with worldwide support from the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA), the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC).

The European Restart a Heart initiative was first established by the European Resuscitation Council on October 16, 2013, and occurs on an annual basis. In 2018, ILCOR expanded the concept to its whole global network of resuscitation councils and renamed it “World Restart a Heart”.

In 2019, all 7 ILCOR member organisations (American Heart Association, European Resuscitation Council, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation, Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa, InterAmerican Heart Foundation, and Resuscitation Council of Asia) participated in WRAH. They were joined by Resuscitation Councils representing India and Sri Lanka and the Arabic Resuscitation Councils. In addition, the International Red Cross (IFRC), the WFSA, and the ESA actively participated in WRAH 2019. Tool kits and information packs were circulated to 194 countries worldwide.

The detailed number of people trained in different regions can be found in the recent publication in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) which is online and freely available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.017230 (this publication is freely accessible for everyone and can and should be shared, posted and forwarded as much and as widely as possible). In Europe, the overall number of people trained in 2019 was 494,402.

We are now looking very much forward to our WRAH activities in 2020 – which are much more virtual this year – with the motto: “Your two hands can save a life” and invite everyone to take part (Fig. 1; for actual information please look at www.ilcor.org and https://www.ilcor.org/wrah#images). Because of the OVID-19 pandemic, the activities of 2020 will focus on digital events and social media campaigns. For advice about resuscitation during the pandemic please take a look at the following guidelines: https://www.erc.edu/covid.

We hope that our simple and unified global message, “CHECK—CALL—COMPRESS” will further enable many policymakers around the world to take immediate and sustainable action in this most important healthcare issue and initiative. All this will help to save hundreds of thousands of additional lives worldwide every year. Further information is available at www.ilcor.org and www.erc.edu.

Fig. 1: Poster of World Restart a Heart Day 2020. This poster and other material can be downloaded from www.ilcor.org


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