Worksop home carer saved the life of a woman who wasn't breathing by carrying out CPR

Irene Parkin
Irene Parkin

A home carer from Worksop who helped to save the life of a customer has been recognised with a national award.

Irene Parkin was named as a CPR Hero by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at an award ceremony in London.

Irene, who works for Worksop-based Charlesworth Community Care, received the award for springing into action after finding a female customer in her 20s unconscious in her home in March 2018.

The customer had suffered a cardiac arrest and wasn’t breathing, so Irene, who was guided by a 999 operator, carried out life saving CPR.

Thanks to Irene’s intervention and the aid of paramedics, the customer was able to make a recovery.

Irene, 58, said: “I feel very honoured and proud of what I did and I’m relieved that the customer I helped has been able to make a good recovery.

“When I walked into that home that day, I just acted on instinct, but it was thanks to the training I had received that I knew what steps to take. It really goes to show the importance of learning CPR and how you never know when you might have to use it.”

Irene was nominated by Helen Charlesworth, manager of Charlesworth Community Care.

Helen said: “We had carried out CPR training with all our staff in November 2017 by using the BHF’s Call Push Rescue training kit. This equipped Irene with the skills she needed to help save our customers’ life.

“I was delighted to nominate Irene for the award and it’s fantastic that her actions have been recognised. She is such a lovely, warm person who is so caring and considerate to all our customers, so she really deserves to be honoured.”

The BHF’s CPR Hero awards recognise the life-saving actions of people who step into help when someone is having a cardiac arrest.

This year, the CPR Hero awards have been sponsored by Laerdal Medical, a provider of training products for life-saving and emergency medical care. The company’s Vice President of Resuscitation Jon Laerdal, was onstage at the event to present the winners with their trophy.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, said: “We are proud to give this award to Irene. Her life-saving actions make her a true hero.

“It is also a powerful reminder of why CPR skills are so important. In the UK, the lives of thousands of people each year could be saved if more people were confident about what to do when someone is having a cardiac arrest.

“That’s why the BHF is striving to improve survival rates through CPR training programmes and working with governments and local authorities in all the UK nations to ensure CPR is routinely taught in schools.”

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year and less than 1 in 10 people survive.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, often because of a problem with the electrical signals to the heart muscle. Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will collapse and will also stop breathing.

For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest falls by around 10 per cent.