by Patrick Leaman

Help at hand

CPR should become a vital tool

CPR could save a cardiac arrest patient
Heart health

It has become a dire situation and most coutries now urge their citizens to undertake vital CPR training. The data collected by Department of Health showed no improvement of deaths caused by cardiac arrests.

Patient records kept by the country's 12 regional ambulance services, show that fewer than 20 per cent of those who suffered a cardiac arrest – and were sent to hospital by paramedics – survived.

In the East Midlands, ambulance crews saved just three in 40 people – a 7.5%survival rate. Survival chances are highest in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, where one in three such patients survived and were later discharged from hospital.

In June only 58 of the 314 casualties attended by paramedics lived across England – just 18.5%. In the American city of Seattle, an area in which more than half of the population are trained in CPR, a majority of its patients survived while similar rates are recorded in Stavanger in Norway, where pupils learn CPR at school.

Prof. Peter Weissberg, the BHFs medical director, warned there had been “no sustained improvement in survival rates from witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, where CPR and a defibrillator could have helped”.

“Many people can survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest but only if they receive immediate CPR,” he said.

“We know Hands-only CPR works but more bystanders need to step in if we’re ever to see the majority become the minority."

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