CPR training could be introduced in Wee County high schools as early as this year.

MSP Alexander Stewart and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have brought proposals forward in a bid to introduce youngsters to the life-saving skill with the ultimate aim of improving cardiac arrest survival rates.

The Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, who is co-convener of the cross-party group on heart disease and stroke, has been working with the charity to roll out sessions across schools in his region.

He said: “The British Heart Foundation has made a very compelling case and the benefits of teaching CPR in the Wee County’s schools are clear.

“I am pleased to be working closely with the foundation and with the ambulance service to take the steps that have been identified.

“The British Heart Foundation’s representatives have spoken with Clackmannanshire Council and they are considering the proposal, however, we need to ensure that a commitment is in place for when the schools go back after the summer holidays.”

When asked by the Advertiser, a council spokeswoman confirmed plans were being developed to introduce CPR training on all three high schools following the break.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a vital emergency procedure that can keep a person alive if they collapse, stop breathing and have no oxygen circulating around the bloodstream.

At the moment, only one in 20 people in Scotland survive a cardiac arrest if they're not in hospital, according to the BHF, but examples from other countries show that teaching it to youngsters can nudge the figures in the right direction.

The MSP added: “To this end, I’ll be keeping the pressure on with Clackmannanshire Council to ensure that a decision is finalised at the earliest opportunity.

“We want to create a nation of lifesavers in Scotland and training all of our secondary pupils in CPR gives us the best chance of helping people in Scotland survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.”

Daniel Jones, policy and public affairs officer at BHF Scotland, said: "International evidence shows that bringing in CPR training for all secondary pupils works.

“For example, after Denmark legislated to make it compulsory for all secondary schools to teach CPR, it not only noted that the number of people coming forward to perform CPR in incidences of cardiac arrest rose from 20 per cent in 2001 to more than 50 per cent by 2012 but the number of people surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Denmark tripled to one in four following the introduction of this legislation.”