Coronation Street and CPR

by | Sep 8, 2022 | In the news

On Wednesday 7th September 2022, long running soap Coronation Street ran a storyline whereby one of the residents suffered a Cardiac Arrest at a football game between two local pubs. We thought it would be a good idea to put our thoughts about it online, and your comments are welcome too. What did you think about it?

The Story

James (played by Nathan Graham) is taking part in a charity football match between The Rovers Return and The Flying Horse. Shortly after The Rovers Return score what is seemingly the winning goal, James collapses on the floor without warning. Rushing to him is his brother Michael (played by Ryan Russell) and dad Ed (played by Trevor Georges), and they quickly realise that James is not breathing. The show then cuts to a break and on returning Michael is performing hands only CPR on the liveless James. Chesney (played by Sam Aston) returns out of breath saying “he can’t find one”, during this time Ed is on the phone to the Emergency Services.

Another cut scene takes place and then we return with the Emergency Medical Services administering a shock with a defibrillator and with one shock his heart begins to beat again with all those in attendance watching over him.

You can re-watch this on the ITV player here –

Our thoughts

A missed oppotunity

Whilst it is fantastic to see shows like Coronation Street showing the value of CPR and that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen at any moment, we just wish a bit more was made of it. The whole sequence of events from collapse to hospital was roughly 2 minutes and it could really have been made so much more to give the public a “real” experience.

Equality and randomness but preconceptions involved

I think it is important to note that these characters are of ethnic minority and this really highlighted the fact that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen at anytime, to anyone regardless of race. However the fact it happened at a football match kind of felt like a cliché as there have been many Cardiac Arrests that have happened in football and stadiums that have made national news – Cristian Eriksen to name but one (and we can think of another 10+ that made national news). I think this would have had a lot more impact had it of taken place in The Rovers Return or on the cobbles.

Where’s the defibrillator?

It is noted that when Chesney runs back out of breath he says he can’t find one. What was he looking for? We can only assume he was looking for an Automated External Defibrillator but this is never mentioned. Whilst this is the correct thing to do when CPR is being administered by a bystander (his brother in this instance), it would have been nice to see the residents actually find a defibrillator and use it on James. Just think this would have shown the public just how easy they are to use.


It is fantastic to see scenes like this play out to millions of people throughout the country but we just felt this fell a little flat and could have been made so much more of. I appreciate that these shows are designed to entertain people but when the opportunity presents itself to do more and educate the public it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

What did you think of the storyline?? Let us know in the comments