Less than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital (OHCA) cardiac arrest due to low bystander CPR rates. Bystander CPR plays a crucial part in the victim.

Not enough people know how to perform CPR. People worry that by stepping in to provide treatment in an emergency, they could be liable if something were to go wrong.

The BHF have found that approximately 30% of adults in the UK are unlikely to perform CPR to a victim in cardiac arrest. A survey from St. John’s Ambulance also found that 34 per cent of people were ‘deterred’ from intervening in a situation that requires first aid due to legal repercussion concerns.

96% would call 999 for assistance, but do nothing else to help the victim during the time it takes the paramedics to arrive.


What the Law Says

No one in the UK has ever been successfully sued for carrying out CPR. By stepping in, you could save a life.

The SARAH Act (2015) applies here in the UK to ensure that in a case made against someone who was trying to help an individual, the judge would be obliged to consider the following:

  • Social Action- Was the person acting in the best interest of the casualty?
  • Responsibility- Was the person demonstrating a predominantly responsible approach towards protecting the safety of others?
  • Heroism- Was the person acting heroically by intervening in an emergency to assist an individual in danger?

The purpose of the SARAH Act is to provide a greater degree of reassurance and protection to Good Samaritans, volunteers and those who may be hesitate to respond to an emergency situation due to a fear of being sued. With hesitancy reduced, more people are likely to step in an emergency, reducing the number of deaths that occur as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.


More Information

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