Less than 10 percent of Croatia's citizens know how resuscitation should be undertaken, while 9,000 persons die of a cardiac arrest annually.
The devastating statistical data was presented on Saturday in Zagreb during an event held within the World Restart a Heart campaign.
The Restart a Heart Day was founded with the support of the European Parliament and takes place in mid-October every year at the initiative of the European Resuscitation Council since 2013.
The chairwoman of the Croatian Resuscitation Council, Silvia Hunyadi-Anticevic, warned that few people in Croatia know how to appropriately take CPR (chest compression and rescue breaths) steps.
There is no systematic education about this matter at school, and the first aid test is conducted only once in a lifetime when applicants pass a driving test, she said, underscoring that CPR guidelines are changed every five years.CPR knowledge and skills should be refreshed at a regular basis, said participants in today's event in Zagreb's Cvjetni Square.
Doctor Ivan Celic, a member of the parliament, said that Croatia should follow the example of Scandinavian and some other western European countries where every second person knows how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Apart from Zagreb, 13 more Croatian cities joined in marking Restart a Heart Day.