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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