Restart a Heart Day

When a person’s heart stops beating, rapid intervention is required. Many of the vital skills needed to save a life in such a circumstance can be initiated by members of the public. This group of “cardiac arrest” victims currently have a low survival rate in Ireland. One of the reasons for this is a lack of public awareness on how to help these people. Giving adequate chest compressions, accessing a defibrillator and calling the emergency services quickly gives these patients the best chance of survival.


To this end, the UCD Restart a Heart Day, held in the Astra Hall on October 13th, aimed to train as many staff and students as possible in some of the basic life-saving skills involved in resuscitating a person in cardiac arrest. Attendees were coached in the recognition of cardiac arrest, how to provide chest compressions, how to access a defibrillator and mobilise the ambulance services. The session included a training video designed and produced by the staff of UCD CEMS and UCD Media Services.

The event was a great success and UCD plan to make this an annual event. 550 people trained over the course of nine hours, in one-hour slots. Having so many people across campus trained in basic resuscitation techniques gives the best chance of saving a life if these skills are ever required. The participants learned a new skill, which may well benefit a friend, family member, colleague or a total stranger at any time.

Restart a Heart Day was part of a Europe-wide initiative. However, there was a definite UCD flavour to proceedings, with several departments involved in planning and running the training sessions. These included the UCD Centre for Emergency Medical Science, Student Health Services, Culture and Engagement-UCD HR, UCD Students’ Union, Healthy UCD and UCD Media Services. There was also significant input on the day from our partners in the National Ambulance Service, the Defence Forces, CFR Ireland and the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council.