Exploring Ethnic Minority Bystander CPR: British Sikh Nurses’ #ReStartAHeart Campaign

Rohit Sagoo, Founder and Director, British Sikh Nurses , Community project with the Resuscitation Council UK highlights the importance of the #ReStartAHeart Campaign

It is commonly known that the South Asian population have the highest risk of heart disease compared to other populations, and this increases the risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests1. Coronary heart disease (CHD) poses a significant health challenge globally, with disparities evident among different ethnic groups. Within the UK, studies reveal that the incidence of CHD in the South Asian community, particularly first-generation South Asians, is up to 50% higher than in the white European population2. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for targeted interventions to address health inequalities and save lives within the South Asian community. Recognising the pressing need for action, British Sikh Nurses (BSN) initiated a groundbreaking campaign for CPR training in partnership with the Resuscitation Council UK called the #ReStartAHeart Campaign. This collaboration aims to empower the Sikh community with life-saving skills to address the stark health inequalities in CHD outcomes and to improve bystander CPR rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

British Sikh Nurses is a grassroots nurse-driven, not-for-profit organisation that is acquainted with the Sikh community and has developed itself to be a trusted voice in the Sikh community when it comes to undertaking health interventions. Conducting the #ReStartAHeart CPR training in Gurdwara settings not only respects cultural norms but also establishes places of worship as trusted health education areas, and the use of the Gurdwara can be accessible as a free-to-use venue and enables opportunities to communicate directly with the Sangat (congregation). BSN is uniquely positioning itself to address health disparities through culturally sensitive interventions. At the heart of their impactful initiatives is the #ReStartAHeart CPR training program, strategically conducted in Gurdwara settings. BSN’s decision to complete CPR training in Gurdwaras is rooted in the deep respect for cultural norms within the Sikh community. Gurdwaras are not just places of worship but cultural hubs where community members gather for spiritual nourishment and communal activities. The Gurdwara setting provides a unique opportunity for direct communication with the Sangat, the congregation. This direct interaction fosters a sense of community ownership and participation in health initiatives. BSN can tailor their messages for health promotion and CPR training to resonate with the specific cultural and linguistic nuances of the Sikh community.

By strategically delivering CPR training in places of worship, such as Gurdwaras, BSN saves lives and tackles health inequalities head-on. This initiative reflects a powerful model of community-led health interventions, emphasising the importance of culturally sensitive, evidence-based practices in promoting cardiovascular health within diverse populations. Faith institutions are vital in addressing health inequalities as they have a broader community reach than health organisations3. Faith-based institutions are woven into the social fabric of communities. They provide a network that extends beyond religious practices. Delivering CPR training in these settings ensures that health information is disseminated to individuals and through interconnected social networks.

BSN goes beyond the traditional healthcare model by conducting CPR training in Gurdwara settings. They are not just information providers; they are catalysts for community empowerment. The choice of setting is strategic, ensuring that health interventions are not perceived as external impositions but as integral components of community well-being. British Sikh Nurses exemplify a model of community-driven health interventions through their grassroots approach and the strategic use of Gurdwara settings. By respecting cultural norms, leveraging trusted spaces, and utilising the community-centric approach, BSN is not just delivering CPR training; they are empowering communities and, in doing so, potentially saving lives within the Sikh community4. The benefits of faith-based institutions in this process highlight the transformative potential of integrating healthcare with cultural competence and community trust.

The campaign for CPR training with British Sikh Nurses, in collaboration with the Resuscitation Council UK, is a crucial step towards addressing the elevated risk of CHD within the Sikh community. By strategically delivering CPR training in places of worship, BSN saves lives and tackles health inequalities head-on. This initiative reflects a powerful model of community-led health interventions, emphasising the importance of culturally sensitive, evidence-based practices in promoting cardiovascular health within diverse populations. In addition to saving lives and addressing health inequalities, the campaign for CPR training with British Sikh Nurses signifies a broader paradigm shift in community health dynamics. It exemplifies the transformative potential of collaborative efforts, bringing together a not-for-profit organisation, healthcare authorities, and faith-based institutions. This integrated approach goes beyond immediate health impacts; it fosters a sense of community ownership over health outcomes, encouraging ongoing participation in preventive healthcare measures. Furthermore, it reinforces the idea that health interventions should be embedded within the fabric of community life, ensuring sustained impact and contributing to the overarching goal of fostering holistic well-being within diverse and culturally rich populations.

You can contact INFO@SIKHNURSES.CO.UK or can find out more here British Sikh Nurses – British Sikh Nurses

References

  1. Shah, A., Bhopal, R., Gadd, S., & Donohoe, R. T. (2009). Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in south Asian and white populations in London: database evaluation of characteristics and outcome. Heart, 96(1), 27-29. https://doi.org/10.1136/hrt.2009.170183
  2. Resuscitation Council UK (2022) Leading heart health charities and UK Ambulance Services join forces to raise awareness of the importance of CPR training. Accessed online https://www.resus.org.uk/about-us/news-and-events/leading-heart-health-charities-and-uk-ambulance-services-join-forces-raise
  3. Khanji, M. Y., Waqar, S., Khawaja, Z., & Ali, B. (2022). How delivering cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic life support skills training through places of worship can help save lives and address health inequalities. European Heart Journal, 43(24), 2257-2260. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehac190
  4. Shafiq, U., Ali, B., Pandai, A., & Khanji, M. Y. (2022). The use of a ‘pillow partner’ as a simple, cost-effective, and accessible tool to teach bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills. Resuscitation, 181, 26-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2022.10.007

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