‘DIRE’ cardiac arrest survival rates in the North West, where only a small fraction of people survive, show no immediate signs of improving according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

In April 2011, the Department of Health began collecting cardiac arrest survival rates for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

The latest figures for NWAS show that in June, 16 per cent of witnessed cardiac arrest casualties attended by paramedics survived to leave hospital – just four out of 25 casualties.

Across England survival rates peaked at 28 per cent in May 2011, but have since deteriorated and not risen above 20 per cent this year.

The BHF says if survival rates in the North West are to improve more bystanders need to help by doing CPR and so the charity is bringing back its popular hands-only CPR ‘Staying Alive’ TV advert, starring Vinnie Jones.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, said: “Many people can survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest but only if they receive immediate CPR.

“The great thing about Hands-only CPR is you don’t need any special skills or to remember how to do the kiss of life.

“It’s simple, you can’t do any harm and you may well save a life. We know of at least 28 people who are alive today simply because the person standing next to them when they collapsed did what Vinnie told them to do in our advert.”