Do you know what to do if a loved one's heart stops beating?

St John Ambulance say cardiac ignorance is costing lives as it launches a new campaign with four simple steps of what to do.

Up to seven out of 10 people who suffer a cardiac arrest could survive if they are treated with a defibrillator inside the first five minutes – but more than half of people in South West England - 54 per cent - have no idea where their nearest life saving equipment is, according to new research by St John Ambulance.

The shocking statistic is revealed as the first aid charity warns that despite more than 30,000 people experiencing cardiac arrests every year in the UK we are lagging way behind countries all over the world when it comes to knowing how to treat them.

The new survey also highlights that 62 per cent of people in the South West wouldn’t know what to do if faced with a cardiac arrest; and while 82 per cent know what a defibrillator does, 65 per cent of people would not feel confident using one, plus an astonishing 61 per cent wrongly believe it could cause harm to a patient.

The first aid charity therefore launching its C.A.R.E for a Heart campaign – four steps to learn in advance, to give you and your loved ones the best chance of survival.

C Closest defibrillator

Find your closest defibrillator

A Arrest?

Be ready to spot the signs of cardiac arrest

R Resuscitate

Know how to resuscitate using CPR

E Early defibrillation

Early defibrillation gives the best chance of survival

St John Ambulance regional director, Steve Hargreaves, said: "Our research shows that while most people have some awareness of defibrillators, we still have a long way to go in educating people about what they need to do in a cardiac emergency

"Home is where the heart is; it’s also where the majority of cardiac arrests happen, outside of hospital, which means it’s more likely to be our friends, family – or even ourselves – who need first aid in this life or death moment.

"None of us want to find ourselves in a situation where we couldn’t save a loved one’s life, any more than we’d want them to stand by helpless if we suffered a cardiac arrest.

"That’s why we are urging everybody in the South West to learn the four simple steps of C.A.R.E today; so that if the worst happens tomorrow, we can all act quickly and confidently, especially when every second counts."

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